A rape letter from a person said to be falsely accused was posted on the Guardian website Saturday, and it didn’t take long for it to go viral. Once you read it, you’ll see why.
The heartfelt confession is written by an anonymous individual, assumed to be male, and details an encounter between a 15-year-old (the writer) and a 13-year-old (the accuser), who reportedly had consensual sex.
After the sex was over, the 15-year-old was awakened by police officers and taken into custody for some of the “most humiliating” questioning — so much so that the writer “refuses” to let himself remember it.
“I was processed and taken to a single cell where the door was closed and my head exploded. I didn’t make a single sound and declined the blanket and the solicitor, as if they might let me out for good behaviour. They took my shoelaces so I didn’t hang myself.
“I woke up in tears to the realization that I was still in a nightmare that couldn’t possibly be true. My foster dad had been called and he came and cried with me, demanded a solicitor and sat through a police interview so in-depth and humiliating that I still refuse to let myself remember it.
“I had samples of my nails, saliva and pubic hair taken.”
The rape letter states that the accused’s ordeal went on for three months before charges were finally dropped, but it did little to stave off the pain.
And while the author admits that the police were more apt to think “innocent until proven guilty,” friends and other adults were not so quick to give the benefit of the doubt.
“I never saw you after that night,” the rape letter author writes.
“In the six years since, I have done all I can to block out the horror of not just that night but of every month spent on bail. While the police seemed to hold true to innocent until proven guilty, my friends and their families certainly didn’t. Even when I returned to a you-free school, I never quite recovered. My relationships since have been damaged and I still struggle to trust my partners. I tell practically no one now about what happened, for fear of being perceived as a rapist and because I guess they’d say stories like mine make it harder for real victims of rape to be believed.”
The author says that he will never be able to forgive his accuser, and urges people to not be so quick to jump to conclusions whenever accusations of rape do occur.
For a look at the full letter, click here.
What do you think, readers? Does the rape letter highlight a bigger problem than accusations of sexual assault, or is it an exception to the rule? And do stories like this one make it harder for actual rape victims to tell their stories? Share your thoughts in our comments section.
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