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Reporting to the police - How do you feel about it now?

#13
@Chris-duck , yeah. I've been thinking about your current experience. You're so brave and it's you and your situation that has got me thinking actually. Hope you are doing ok. It sounds a really full on process, not only with talking to the police about it all, but all the wider stuff. (For me, I wouldn't tell anyone else other than my partner and a couple of friends , I don't think I would tell my family...but maybe I need to think that through too).
Hey,

Thanks, and yeah, I had absolutely no plans to tell anyone outside of close friends, but then my parents were considered witnesses so the police would have spoken to them regardless and I figured it was best to hear from me. I think the problem is, the information stops being "yours" after reporting. It's not disclosed, like when they speak to the people involved it'll be "Chrissy disclosed a crime between 09-11, any idea what that might be?" but they would still have been told. So I think I had to be in a place where I wasn't necessarily "okay" with my parents knowing, but I could handle it.

As for reporting to police, the police lady I've dealt with has been pretty decent and open. The issue in the UK is that people don't "press charges", the person reporting is a witness, so once the process has started there's not a lot of opportunity to turn back. Because in my situation its not me vs guys like in USA (from my understanding), its police vs guys where I am a witness. So pulling out is a witness pulling out, not someone deciding not to prosecute, cos that's not our decision here, it's a legal decision. It's a small distinction really, but important for if you report then change your mind.

I have reported shit previously and regretted it. I'm not entirely sure how this time feels for me cos I'm right in the middle of it. It's not been anything that I'd refer to as #traumatic yet, but so far it has literally been me and some police giving my side of the story, I'm sure shit will get harder once other point of views are heard. I think it's important you don't have a set expectation in mind, conviction rates are low, historical convictions are lower. So look at why you're doing it and what you expect from it. I know now, I've done whatever I can for whoever is being f*cked over just now, and I don't expect convictions, but it'll be there if anyone else comes forward.

I don't have a do it or dont do it answer, I did not expect me to be in this situation even two months ago. I don't think anyone can judge either decision you make, just look at what you want and expect, talk it through with someone and go from there.

If you have specific questions (my crime was reported in scotland, but it's english law cos it happened in england, so I've been talked through both countries procedures), lemme know and I'll answer as best as I can
 
Thread starter #14
Thanks @Chris-duck , I appreciate you taking the time to write that, particularly because you're in the middle of it all. And thanks for the offer for me to ask questions. I appreciate that too.

That's the thing I'm worried about: once I report, it gathers it's own life dictated by the police.
The thing I would be worried about, *if* they prosecuted, was that one of the people (the one who is easy to locate) is known to people I know. In that, he was the older brother of someone who went to my school. I'm friends on Facebook with people who remain in contact with him. A couple degrees of separation but not much.
I'd have to be prepared for people knowing.
And I don't think I am prepared for that.

The child who assaulted me went to my school. But no one I vaguely know is in contact with him, so it doesn't have the same "everyone will know" feel about it.


I don't think I'm prepared for any of it.


I think this might be talking me out of reporting.

I don't know. Tricky. I can't know what will or won't happen until I do report. That's the never ending dilemma. .
 
#15
@Movingforward10 , do you have someone who can support you through the process - the police and legal process? In the UK we have an organisation called Victim Support - i was allocated an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor , she liaised with the police , Crown Prosecution Service - chased updates for me and got answers to any legal or police process questions. She worked with me the whole 2.5 years the process took. She regularly told me that if the process was too much that i could stop it at any time.
Reading the comments about parents ... mine found out many years ago but it was never talked about . My mum once walked in on me being forced to give oral sex to the abuser - i remember it so well and it took years for it to stop being a nightmare. Years ago we spoke about it but when it came to giving her story to the police as a witness .. her story changed and it undermined my story ... i was so hurt and angry and it has affected our relationship. So its tough when it comes to parents !
Do what you feel is right for you and take as much time as you need . I wish you all the best.
 
#16
At at a minimum, reporting it sets up a history if he is reported again by someone else. It might not be a conviction for what happened to you, but it could mean a conviction based on history. Think of it more like doing the right thing. Ignore that false guilt, he chose this path, not you. That guilt belongs with him, not you. I would discuss it with the therapist and have a game plan of coping mechanisms and kind of a safety net to fall into once you do report it. Prayers for discernment and peace about your decision.
 
Thread starter #17
@Missycat , I'm so sorry you went through all that and your Mum's account changed. That is so incredibly tough.
I'm in the UK too, so have looked at how to report it and with what support and who to report it too. So feel sort of ok about knowledge about it, but not sure about doing it

Think of it more like doing the right thing
It's this that is challenging. Eats me up.
Part of me is :yes reporting is the right thing especially if it helps others
But other part of me is: The people who harm need to do the right thing to make it better, no me.

I have therapy tomorrow so will talk with T. But I think I'm moving away from reporting again. This morning I was thinking "what if I have it wrong" about what I experienced with one of the rapes. And it is this self doubt that is crushing. And I recently looked up one of the rapists online (the one who I can locate) and that sent me into a spin. So if I can't even bear his picture on the internet, how am I going to manage a process of reporting him and any potential outcome?
 
#18
Hi, it's obviously a major dliemma. Definately talk to your T about it and like one person mentioned getting an advocate sounds like a really good idea. I think that's really important to have someone from victim support to try and help you navigate the situation. So sorry your having to go through this and really respect you for trying to do the right thing, however or whatever the right thing is for you.
 
Thread starter #19
Thanks @Survivor3 ,

I spoke to T about it. She was just listening really. Spoke about wanting to be in control because I'm only just getting that and how reporting to the police feels like giving the control over to them and loosing it again. I think T is trying to not judge either way and letting me express whatever it is I need too.

I think, for now, I'm going to step away from reporting. I can always change my mind again. But for now: I'm not strong enough to withstand many potential outcomes. And I got to be ok with that.

But thank you all for sharing your views. I appreciate how supportive and open you all are.
 
#20
IMO it's not like you're 'not strong enough'... as in yah yah, got how you meant ;) - but that you decided to not put yourself through that much stress for XYZ reasons is a damn good self care, knowing your boundaries and limits and tending to them, prioritizing your present life and not having it be up in turmoil by having to deal with the past...

And those are all valid and strong choices, worth respect & support.
 
#21
I am a survivor of child abuse. When I was about 15 or 16 I told a detective that I was being abused and he said that it was a big accusation to make and that I had better have some proof. So, that didn't work out for me. Ironically, he said that they were busy trying to catch a pedophile that they referred to as "Chester the Molester" and that was the end of our conversation.

Many years later, I think I was in my mid-thirties, I went to report the abuse to police officers. I was told that if they caught the main perpetrator and I took him to court the most that would happen is that he would get a slap on the wrist. I decided that the pain of seeing him walk away from what he'd done was too much for me and I did not want to pursue it any longer. I told them they knew who he was and what he did and I would leave it up to them to do something about it if they chose to.
 
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