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First time reporting

Discussion in 'Sexual Assault' started by AllisonStern, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. AllisonStern

    AllisonStern Member

    Recently I was raped for the second time and because I knew what it was and because I talked to some close friends about what to do I came to the decision of reporting.

    On Monday I have a formal interview with a detective, but I feel like I'm getting all the details muddled up in my head because it happened so fast. I also keep trying to minimize the event to myself and that makes me afraid and ashamed to speak about it.

    From those that have reported, and those that have experienced this feeling, how do you get through these feelings? How do you remember details and answer questions when you only have bits of the story clear in your head?
    blackemerald1 and Swift like this.
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  3. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    I’d write it all down first.
    AllisonStern likes this.
  4. Swift

    Swift I'm a VIP

    I kinda figured out vaguely what I wanted to say.
    Because I'm a visual person, I asked if I could bring my notebook in. They said no, but did let me have a piece of blank paper.
    I went six or seven times for the same statement. The times I stayed calmest and most clear, I took mints and a soft drink in with me. Also wore clothes that made me feel comfortable, and wore a scarf for tactile stuff to calm me down.
    Don't be afraid to ask for stuff that makes you more comfortable. You can take a break at any time. You get the chance to revise your statement before you sign and stat-dec it.
    The other thing is... be prepared for your copper to be... not great... and also be prepared for them to tell you it might not go anywhere.
    The questions I wasn't prepared for were stuff about myself, and as much random detail as I could muster about the perpetrator and the setting(s).
    And... self care, self care, self care.
    Have you got something nice to do after?
    And if you have any more questions, I'll do my best to help.
    AllisonStern and blackemerald1 like this.
  5. blackemerald1

    blackemerald1 I'm a VIP Premium Member

    You don't have to get it all right the first time. It isn't an exam and there is no pass or fail.
    Ask questions about the process before you begin. Tell them that you are worried you will not remember everything exactly the first time. If they have any competency they should understand this and be able to explain how it all works.
    You may get a considerate police officer - I hope you do. If not, don't take it as a judgement on you. It's not honestly.

    I would not write down anything. You know what happened, when it happened and how it happened. If your memory fails you the first time then highly likely when you go again, you may remember. Don't fret over that.

    They may not give you hard and fast answers on what they can do with the report immediately. There may be other statements to take, evidence to collect etc.

    If you have witnesses or people that can corroborate your statement/report - have those names, phone number etc., in your phone or with you.

    It will feel difficult talking to people whom you do not know and who will not show you enormous amounts of sympathy etc., but try and remember their aim is to collect and present the best evidence to a Court. Not to help you heal or overcome the trauma. Switch off from needing that from them. They should still give you respect, consideration and compassion.

    If you feel overwhelmed or need a break, ask for one. Take your time answering. Consider your answers before speaking.

    Have someone drive you there or collect a cab. Go home to someone who can comfort you afterwards and sit with you. Eat, rest and sleep if you can. Keep your normal routine as much as possible.

    Remember this is the first stage in a long and very difficult system. It isn't terribly well designed or purpose built for victims unfortunately. It's very hard to step into this process without trepidation.

    All of @Swift 's suggestions are spot on too.

    Take care I hope it goes well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2018
    AllisonStern and Swift like this.
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