Whenever a friend discloses to me that they have been sexually assaulted (or someone they know has been sexually assaulted).... #whyididntreportit
I used to tell them, “First, I’m not a lawyer and you should probably talk to one.” Now, I tell them, “Ok, I am not your lawyer but I can give you some names of lawyers I trust.”
And, I immediately tell them what I have done in the past (and have done in the past), document, document, document! Even if this means telling someone else.
Also, save all your communications, including your social media, text, texting apps, posts.
Do an archive of your social media posts ASAP (in fact, link your twitter to google excel via IFTTT if you intend to “talk” about it).
Screen shot all your recent calls and/or ask your provider for calls around a certain time. There should be an option in your provider online billing platform to download your bill and also to document calls made, including to your own voicemail. Some providers also store texts.
You can *sometimes* retrieve those texts (but only within a certain time frame).
And most importantly, if you can, write out what happened, how it made you feel, what you did immediately afterwards including who you talked to, places you went, things that changed in your life. Or, have someone write it for you...you just tell them what to write.
Sending emails to yourself is also a good way to document things. That way you can also ensure you can attach documents (screen shots). For added safety, create a separate email that you don’t link to anything else, and with a strong password.
This sounds like a lot but trust me...with how many times I’ve been disbelieved or accused of making it all up or being blamed...receipts, my friends. receipts.
And I say “whenever a friend discloses” to me because it happens a lot and nobody talks about what to do immediately afterwards besides “go to the police.” For some that’s not safe (in fact, for some, it is the police).
This is what existing outside the prison system looks like, feels like. It’s this hyper-vigilance of taking care and making sure you have all the support in place.
But I also tell them, it’s ok to just want to receive counselling, and nothing else. I give them some reccos too.
It’s hard work to do all of this, to remember all of this. But this is what my experiences (trauma taught me): how do I ensure I still “protect” myself if nobody else will (namely, the police)? This is the counter to #WhyIDidntReport
And be sure, to turn off google search history function if you do searches regarding how to access safety and/or stay safe or seek help immediately after (if you have to for safety reasons). But also save such history if you googled same immediately afterwards. Trust.
Everything you did (or didn’t do) will be scrutinized with a fine tooth comb if you ever do choose to go to the police.

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