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Recourse after sexual assault


Barb_
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I'm not really comfortable posting any more details.  I don't have anyone to talk to that isn't already affected by the situation, so I probably came looking for support and I think that was a mistake.  

 

I've gotten some good suggestions, so thank you.   :001_smile:

Edited by Barb_
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I have to be vague, I'm sorry.  This is someone close to me.

 

Is there any recourse to be had after a rape if no report was filed?  This would be a brutal, violent rape by someone known to the victim.  It happened more than once, but took place more than a year ago.  I'm not currently (too) worried about her safety but considering the circumstances I'm worried he could do this to someone else.  Is there a way to just scare him? Or file a report so there is a paper trail in case he is accused again? I've been reeling with this new knowledge for a couple of weeks and don't want to compromise her privacy but I am a fixer and feel the need to take some sort of action.  Can you guys help?

File a report.  Not telling is not helping. 

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File a report.  Not telling is not helping. 

 

What are the consequences? She isn't willing to go public.  She also lives in a red blame-the-victim state.

 

ETA: Please be gentle.  This affects me personally.

Edited by Barb_
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The best thing you can do is to be supportive of whatever she chooses to do.   It's not her obligation to stop future attacks, and she's not wrong for not wanting to have to deal with the consequences to her for reporting. 

 

I'm so sorry this is happening. 

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The best thing you can do is to be supportive of whatever she chooses to do.   It's not her obligation to stop future attacks, and she's not wrong for not wanting to have to deal with the consequences to her for reporting. 

 

I'm so sorry this is happening. 

 

 

Wow.  That actually isn't something I've considered. I don't know why.

 

ETA:  Maybe because I'm the one who wants retribution.  Probably.  Thanks for that.

Edited by Barb_
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She can file civil or criminal legal charges up until the statute runs. If it happened on a campus, there could be another layer of reporting options.

 

She can call the rape crisis hotline for her state and even speak with law enforcement without filing a report.

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What are the consequences? She isn't willing to go public.  She also lives in a red blame-the-victim state.

 

ETA: Please be gentle.  This affects me personally.

 

If she isn't willing to tell the police, and file a report then there is really nothing she can do.

 

Unless she was married to him or they shared a residence, in which case, depending on your state she might be able to find for an order of protection in family court.  But that doesn't carry any punishment or anything like that unless he violates it. But if he is someone she knows but did not live with, then she has to go through criminal court

 

If it was within the last year she is well within the statute of limitations.

 

Did she see a doctor or get any medical care at the time? That will be on record..

 

She should be talking to a therapist or at the very least a crisis counselor. Those service are all confidential and they can't tell anyone or make her tell the police.  They might be able to better answer her questions though

 

And my answers are all based on the assumption that she is not a minor. If she was under the age of 18 at the time of the assault then my answers would be different.

 

 

And it is up to her to tell the police.  She shouldn't be forced or guilted into it. That is the last thing any crime victim needs. She has to make her decision freely. If she is pressured or feels like she is being made to do it, it is more likely she will bail out of the process later on.

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If she isnt willing to go public, there probably isn't much (if anything) she can do in terms of reporting anything. If he's capable of violent rape, I would honestly worry for her safety if she did report if. Even if she got a restraining order, it is nothing more than a piece of paper, it isn't a force field that is going to protect her.

 

Maybe she could file a report and not name him, and yet if it happens to somebody else, she can come forward at that time. But I cannot imagine reporting it in a "red, blame the victim state" will go well for her, at all. If she's not ready mentally to face it, it may be too much for her.

 

I would say that in the meantime, just be there for her, help her find support, focus on her, not him, and maybe she will eventually be ready to come forward.

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She can file civil or criminal legal charges up until the statute runs. If it happened on a campus, there could be another layer of reporting options.

 

She can call the rape crisis hotline for her state and even speak with law enforcement without filing a report.

 

Not on campus.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I didn't know that.

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If she isn't willing to tell the police, and file a report then there is really nothing she can do.

 

Unless she was married to him or they shared a residence, in which case, depending on your state she might be able to find for an order of protection in family court.  But that doesn't carry any punishment or anything like that unless he violates it. But if he is someone she knows but did not live with, then she has to go through criminal court

 

If it was within the last year she is well within the statute of limitations.

 

Did she see a doctor or get any medical care at the time? That will be on record..

 

She should be talking to a therapist or at the very least a crisis counselor. Those service are all confidential and they can't tell anyone or make her tell the police.  They might be able to better answer her questions though

 

And my answers are all based on the assumption that she is not a minor. If she was under the age of 18 at the time of the assault then my answers would be different.

 

 

And it is up to her to tell the police.  She shouldn't be forced or guilted into it. That is the last thing any crime victim needs. She has to make her decision freely. If she is pressured or feels like she is being made to do it, it is more likely she will bail out of the process later on.

 

 

You're right.  No guilt, no force.  It's been over a year but less than two, but no medical attention at the time of the attack. She was over 18 as far as a I know.  These are more my questions than hers, and I'm just trying to process it.  She is getting intensive counselling.  Thanks for your suggestions.

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If she isnt willing to go public, there probably isn't much (if anything) she can do in terms of reporting anything. If he's capable of violent rape, I would honestly worry for her safety if she did report if. Even if she got a restraining order, it is nothing more than a piece of paper, it isn't a force field that is going to protect her.

 

Maybe she could file a report and not name him, and yet if it happens to somebody else, she can come forward at that time. But I cannot imagine reporting it in a "red, blame the victim state" will go well for her, at all. If she's not ready mentally to face it, it may be too much for her.

 

I would say that in the meantime, just be there for her, help her find support, focus on her, not him, and maybe she will eventually be ready to come forward.

 

 

I had similar thoughts, given the nature of the attack.  It was cold and planned and sociopathic IMO, and not a mixed signals sort of thing.  She is a couple of hundred miles away from him now, so that helps but doesn't really solve anything.  He doesn't have a job or reliable transportation.  But the kids and I live in the same town still which makes me a little paranoid too.  

 

Maybe letting it lie is the safest thing to do even though my fantasy is to do violence.

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Just be there for her. With time and therapy she may change her mind about reporting. But it is not an easy thing to do and her priority needs to be healing.

You can fix by being there for her healing process, make meals, help with cleaning, offer a safe space to just sleep/stare at the wall, listening ear, distractions.

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I do hope all women would tell and report. I hear what Audrey is saying. 

At the same, the woman has lost agency already and now, she needs to make this decision on her own. It may not be the choice she'll make and that's ok.   

for anyone who needs it,  https://centers.rainn.org/  800-656-4673    24/7 someone will answer that phone.  The people in her area will know what legal steps could be taken, if she decides to pursue it. 


 

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I do hope all women would tell and report. I hear what Audrey is saying. 

 

At the same, the woman has lost agency already and now, she needs to make this decision on her own. It may not be the choice she'll make and that's ok.   

 

for anyone who needs it,  https://centers.rainn.org/  800-656-4673    24/7 someone will answer that phone.  The people in her area will know what legal steps could be taken, if she decides to pursue it. 

 

 

 

 

That's the exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for.  Thank you.

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I had similar thoughts, given the nature of the attack.  It was cold and planned and sociopathic IMO, and not a mixed signals sort of thing.  She is a couple of hundred miles away from him now, so that helps but doesn't really solve anything.  He doesn't have a job or reliable transportation.  But the kids and I live in the same town still which makes me a little paranoid too.  

 

Maybe letting it lie is the safest thing to do even though my fantasy is to do violence.

 

Even if it was a 'mixed signals sort of thing' she would deserve respect and to believed about what happened to her. Just do that for her.  If she's not asking you for information about pressing charges then don't give it to her. If she is in therapy then my guess is that she already knows her options.

 

And I hate to break it to you, but we all live in the same town as rapists and abusers. That isn't going to change even if you didn't live in the same town as this particular one.

 

And if she has told you his name you cannot breath a word of her story to anyone. It could put her in danger, or you.

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Even if it was a 'mixed signals sort of thing' she would deserve respect and to believed about what happened to her. Just do that for her.  If she's not asking you for information about pressing charges then don't give it to her. If she is in therapy then my guess is that she already knows her options.

 

And I hate to break it to you, but we all live in the same town as rapists and abusers. That isn't going to change even if you didn't live in the same town as this particular one.

 

And if she has told you his name you cannot breath a word of her story to anyone. It could put her in danger, or you.

 

I get that.  My point being that this wasn't a heat of the moment thing, but planned out ahead of time.  In my mind that makes him more dangerous.  I know him and he is well known to our family. 

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What are the consequences? She isn't willing to go public.  She also lives in a red blame-the-victim state.

 

ETA: Please be gentle.  This affects me personally.

I understand.  I really do.  I regret not telling.  I will never know if he did it to anyone else, but if I had told at least there would have been a record in case someone else complained.   As it is, I live with the guilt that my silence let him get away with it, and maybe hurt someone else.

 

I believe she would only need to file a report.  It would be up to the police and courts to pursue it further.  I don't know what could happen after that. 

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I understand.  I really do.  I regret not telling.  I will never know if he did it to anyone else, but if I had told at least there would have been a record in case someone else complained.   As it is, I live with the guilt that my silence let him get away with it, and maybe hurt someone else.

 

I believe she would only need to file a report.  It would be up to the police and courts to pursue it further.  I don't know what I

 

 

 

NVM

 

Edited by Barb_
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I had similar thoughts, given the nature of the attack.  It was cold and planned and sociopathic IMO, and not a mixed signals sort of thing.  She is a couple of hundred miles away from him now, so that helps but doesn't really solve anything.  He doesn't have a job or reliable transportation.  But the kids and I live in the same town still which makes me a little paranoid too.  

 

Maybe letting it lie is the safest thing to do even though my fantasy is to do violence.

I think I misunderstood what you were asking.  Are you asking what SHE can do or what you can do?  The only legal thing she can do is tell. And, that's up to her.  I get that not everyone has the ability to tell.   You can't tell on her behalf.  If you're still living near this person, then I think the best you can do is keep yourself and your family away from him.  You can't really tell other people that he raped someone.  I mean... you *could* tell, but then it's just your word and not your personal experience, so he could come at you legally with lawsuits or do other less legal things just to make your life hell. 

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I am so sorry for your friend. My suggestion would be to contact a crisis center or hotline. I used to volunteer for one, and one thing, at least in my experience, was that all the crisis centers in an area knew each other. So you could call any one of them and get referred to the appropriate place, I think.

 

For actually talking to a person on the hotline, the 'victim' would have to call herself. At least that was the rule in the places I was familiar with. You could be sitting with her, but she has to make the call. She does not have to be articulate or even coherent, just make the first call.

 

Hopefully, she will decide to get help. A good center should be able to get some individual counselling, then group therapy. You could drive her, if she is scared to go herself. Talking to other people is a good first step towards healing.

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