Reporting Rape: My Personal Experience

*trigger warning*

Two weeks ago today, I was raped. For the third time in my life. The first time I was raped, I was barely a teenager. The second time, was on my 17th birthday. Rape can drive a woman to do crazy things. After the first two times I was raped, I attempted suicide countless times, drowned my sorrow with booze, pills, and drugs, and substituted promiscuity for love, often confusing the two. I had my first real relationship when I was 18, which was the first time I experienced true love. I gained a newfound respect for myself but fell back into my old ways of sleeping around and partying when we broke up two years later. Somewhere between the ages of 20-25 I became a feminist. I suppose it was a gradual thing that lead me to be the activist that I am today.

Today, I organize inspirational events for women wh0 have suffered sexual abuse, I snap back at catcallers, and I even have fallen in love with my body hair. Society’s regard toward women ultimately shaped me into a fierce freedom fighter for all, however, to my surprise, two weeks ago when I was raped by my roommate, I froze, I was stunned, I didn’t speak up, or fight back. There comes a point- I suppose it’s the point of no return- when you know you’re getting raped, you have done what you can, said what you could (“no”, “stop”, “I don’t want to”) and you realize that the person inside of you is not going to stop. Fear and pain wash over you and pieces of your spirit slip away. I could feel my dignity being ripped out from inside of me. 

I remembered what I fight for everyday and simultaneously I forgot what I fight for because being in that moment is like being outside of yourself. In that moment, I was no longer that strong, fighting feminist. I felt like no one. I felt less than human. I lost who I was. When he finished, I walked directly to the shower to wash away that feeling of invasion. I stayed motionless under the shower for 45 minutes but when I redressed and left for the day, that feeling of invasion stayed with me. A ripped open vagina takes time to heal.

It took me years to speak up about sexual assault in the past and it was something that I regretted everyday. This time around, I began telling people a few hours later, starting with my sister and then my best friend. They provided what support they could but it wasn’t until I told my current love interest that I heard the words, “Call 911. Tell the police.” This deep feeling of anxiety overcame me and I began to give all the reasons why I didn’t want to go to the police, “I’ll just talk to him. Or maybe I’ll just take all my shit and leave. I don’t want to call the police. I don’t want to deal with the court system or get a rape kit at the hospital. I don’t want to be interrogated. I don’t want them to question me or take me for some radical activist. Lawyers can be cut throat. I don’t want anything to do with it.” But, my lover reminded me that “it’s what you fight for every day. You have to go to the police. This kind of stuff just doesn’t happen. There is a reason for this. You need to do something about it.”

This was all true but I didn’t want to listen. I made arrangements to stay with friends that night and cried myself to sleep. The following morning, it was time to tell my parents. I wasn’t scared of telling them this time but it pained me to tell them about how I was violated. They said the same thing, “Call the police.” In tears I respond, “I’m not strong enough. I’m scared. I can’t. I’ll figure out a plan and call you later.” I begin to message my lover but anything I said would get the same response, “Do something. Tell someone. Call 911.” Finally, I crush under the pressure. I call 911.

Minutes later 8 male police officers are in my friend’s home. I tell them my story. A few of them seem bored and their eyes wander the house. The others are staring at me. One says, “Are you sure he knew that you didn’t want to? Maybe you weren’t clear. Maybe he thought that by saying “no” you really wanted it…” I retort in disbelief, reiterate that I clearly said, “No. Stop! I don’t want to.” There was nothing unclear about it. Only one officer, chubby in his mid fifties, chimes in regularly with, “Oh my God!” or “That is terrible!” and “What a scumbag!” Only one of the male officers sympathized. Finally, the EMTs arrive. The first woman on the scene was a nurse. When her eyes met mine, I knew she felt my pain. I saw sorrow in her eyes. I knew that she, too, had been violated in her life some time before. I felt her pity very deeply, without even saying a word.

We proceed to go to the hospital for an exam, pregnancy and STD testing, and rape kit. My doctor is male. He does his best to discourage me from getting the rape kit. As he explains it, he keeps saying, “the procedure takes 3-5 hours. 3-5 hours! Three-to-five hours!” I tell him I don’t care how long it takes, I want it all. Next, I’m off to the special victims unit. They interrogate me. I shake hands with the detective and leave. I felt relieved that I had told the police but I also chose to not solely rely on a system where rapists are “innocent until proven guilty” which is why I began tagging the streets of New York City with “Stop rape, educate” chalk art.

That’s a blog post for another time…. in the meantime, I just wish to encourage women who have faced sexual assault to speak up about it. Tell someone you trust and tell the police because honestly, it really isn’t that bad…. and it gives a boost of confidence like no other. In addition, join a women’s group and find a community of feminists that can help empower you. Telling the world about my rape relieved me of the burden of carrying that feeling of invasion around. And I know that no matter what happens with the court case, my spirit is strong and cannot be harmed. My spirit can never be tarnished, nor can yours. Stay strong and speak up!


Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Amber Amour is the CEO & Founder of Rising Minds Foundation and is an activist who uses creativity to unite and inspire change. She is a playwright, poet, director, actress, producer, and songwriter who uses her eloquence to address important issues in society. Thus far her works have addressed homelessness, women's rights, LGBTQ issues, family dynamics, human sexuality, domestic violence among an array of various other topics. For more information about Amber Amour, follow her on Facebook at and on Instagram @amberinternational

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