A question was posed in the ReConnected Life Community Group. Should I pursue justice through reporting to the police? The answer is that it is no-one’s decision but your own. But there are some fundamental self-care questions to consider, which I share in the video.
- Are you prepared for the detailed & repetitive questioning that will be needed as part of the reporting process? Do you have a support network in place to help you with the emotional repercussions of that? The process can have a re-traumatising effect, the most important thing is your safety.
- If your attacker is known to you, will your physical safety be assured? The most important thing is your safety.
- Are you prepared for the CPS to decide not to prosecute? Some find the mere process of reporting to be an empowering experience, taking back control – but others find the denial of justice very difficult to handle. I know that was the case for me. The most important thing is your ongoing safety.
- If the CPS does prosecute, are you able and willing to in effect put your life on hold for several months or even years whilst the justice process is undertaken? Do you have a support network in place to help you with this? The most important thing is your ongoing safety.
- If, after prosecution, the jury decides not to convict, are you prepared? The most important thing is your ongoing safety.
The great news though is that you don’t have to work through these questions alone. Your local SARC (sexual assault referral centre) can put you in touch with an ISVA (independent sexual violence advisor) who will help you with advice and hold your hand through the justice process. I wish I had known they had existed back in 2008 when I was going through the reporting process. I wished it so bad, I was going to make it happen ‘when I was better.’ Instead, ‘when I was better’ I decided to create the ReConnected Life Experience. It hurts me that they did exist in 2008, I just hadn’t heard of them. We must share knowledge of these resources so that those who don’t know, do know.
It is NOT your responsibility or duty to report. It is YOUR decision, and yours alone.
You can find your nearest SARC by calling the NHS 111 non-emergency service, speaking to your GP or the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department of your local hospital, or by visiting the NHS Choices website.
Rape Crisis South London have released these videos as part of their #BreaktheSilence campaign which explain the process some more for you.
Further support & resources:
Rape Crisis England & Wales https://rapecrisis.org.uk/
Rape Crisis Scotland https://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/
Rape Crisis Network Ireland https://www.rcni.ie
The Survivors Trust (UK): https://thesurvivorstrust.org/
RAINN (US) https://www.rainn.org/