In 2012 I went through a very dramatic experience, I was raped. The person who raped me the brother of someone who was my friend at that time. I went through all the emotions: guilt, shame and fear before eventually telling my best friend what had happened. She was really supportive which helped when I eventually told my mum and dad. The police were then contacted and I reported the crime. My mum had heard about Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis and she put me in touch with them.
I came to Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis seeking help which was where I met my support worker Paula. I was in a very dark place having gone through the police investigation and I was still in shock. I didn’t know what to do as I couldn’t concentrate but with a supportive family and the support, I received from Paula I started to get stronger.
I was determined that this was not going to define me. Whilst at GCRC I waited to hear if my case would go to court and eventually the Procurator Fiscal decided there was enough evidence to proceed. What I didn’t realise at the time is that it takes a long time for cases to get to court. From when I first spoke to the Police to standing in the witness box it took 3 and half years for my case to get to court. Throughout this time, I was working with Paula on how I was feeling but couldn’t move on with the court case hanging over my head. The whole justice process is as traumatic as rape itself. Things need to change. The courts need to understand how this affects survivors.
Unfortunately, in my case the verdict was ‘Not Proven’ which really upset me as I felt not believed from the jury, but because of the support of my family and from Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis, it made me very determined to support other survivors like myself,
It is now 6 years since I first stepped into GCRC for support not knowing what to expect. I was in a very dark place when I came to GCRC but because of them I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter if I was having a good or bad day they would be there to listen and support me. Everything was my choice so if I wanted to talk a little that day that was okay. If I wanted to talk a lot that was also okay and if I just wanted to cry that was okay too. The thing about GCRC is that everyone is equal and they really are amazing. They went above and beyond to make sure I felt comfortable and safe within the environment and as a result they have given me my life back. Throughout my support I passed my driving test and bought a house in 2017 which I don’t think I could have done without the support of GCRC. They gave me the belief that I could still achieve everything I wanted to before this happened and that I had nothing to be ashamed of.
I am now in my 3rd and final year of studying counselling and as this was my last year, I had to attend a placement. The only place I could think of going and really wanted to was GCRC and I am very happy they gave me the opportunity to do just that, I could not be happier! I am enjoying every minute of it and learning so much from everyone. I am so proud of the person I am today and I thank the support of my family and GCRC for this. I had a goal to help other survivors like myself, although this is just the beginning for me. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.