AN: Cross-posted from Felife, so it’s in a linkable form.

Hi, my name is Nora, and I was raped. I’ll probably write about the details of my rape later, but following our statement yesterday (see the previous link) a lot of people have been asking if there’s been any legal action taken, any police reports filed, etc etc etc. Yes, there has. I just filed one. (Case number 12-129446, for the record).

You know what’s pretty fucked up, though? That people are asking as though it makes the rape more or less real. That people are acting like it’s the next logical step for any rape victim. It doesn’t and it isn’t. To date I know of at least eight women he has assaulted or raped and, even if none of them file a police report, those will all be just as real as my experiences. They will be just as much rape.

Reporting is terrifying. It means you will have to tell strangers your story. It means intimate details of your life will be on display to police officers you have never met. It dredges up every self-blaming, self-hating thought you’ve had and parades them through your head. Every nasty comment, every victim blaming piece of tripe that comes up in threads about rape? I’ve thought worse about myself. Reporting puts you through all that and all you’ve got is yourself and any support network you’ve been lucky enough to build.

It makes a lot of sense not to report. Frankly, reporting was the most counter-intuitive thing I’ve ever done. If, like me, you’re kinky or poly or queer and any of that was involved in your rape, if it wasn’t some stranger in a dark alley or you didn’t scream “NO,” it is a potentially terrifying prospect to go through a process that amounts to outing yourself to the police and your community. It makes even more sense not to report if you don’t think it will do any good. If you think people won’t listen to you why would you speak up? If you think you’ll be told the community is more important than naming your accuser why would you put yourself through this?

I am incredibly lucky. I have a fantastic support network of people who love me and a therapist who is the most kink-friendly vanilla person I’ve ever met. That’s why I feel comfortable coming forward. Not everyone has that, not everyone has the luxury of feeling safe enough to go to the police or even tell their partner or their friend what happened. That’s why I’m speaking up and offering my face and my name for this. Because he didn’t just rape and assault some nameless, faceless group of women, he raped me.