In 2016, I reported two men who raped me during my freshman year of college to the police. It’s not unusual for rape victims to wait weeks, months, or even years before reporting their assailants; in my case, almost a decade had passed. While the time it took me to gather my courage washed away any physical evidence of the crimes, it did give me time to prepare for my visit to the police station.
These are my biggest takeaways. They are directed at survivors preparing to report their assailants to the police, but I encourage allies — partners, friends, family, and co-workers — to educate themselves as much as possible about reporting, not reporting, things to say and not to say, and the enduring psychological effects of sexual assault.
Before the Day: Be Prepared
Day of: Make It Comfortable
After Reporting: Be Kind to Yourself
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