I’m writing out my life in a timeline, so to experience my story the way its supposed to be told, start at I Was That Girl In School… then proceed chronologically by post date.
So I told my story. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but I knew at this point that he couldn’t hurt me. Boyfriend had already cut ties, so I had nothing left to lose. After I was finished telling my story to the officer, she asked me one question: “Do you want to press charges?”
Without hesitation, I said yes. He made me suffer for long enough. He needs to pay for what he put me through, but not just that; he needed to be locked up so he couldn’t do this to anyone else. She pressed that if I went through with it, there would be a trial and I would have to testify against him in front of a judge and jury. “Are you sure you want to do that?”
What if I said no at this point? Would they have just let him walk with maybe, just maybe, a slap on the wrist from his parole officer? No. He can’t get away with it.
The officer engaged her radio and requested the apprehension of The Recluse. She parroted the description I told her and listed possible whereabouts. She then introduced me to a Victim-Witness Counselor. “She will work with you throughout the trial, and make sure you are taken care of.” My Guardian Angel.
“While it is still fresh in your mind, I know it may be difficult, but do you think you can write down everything that happened?” As I put pen to paper, words just started pouring out, describing every detail I could think of, page after page. After writing for some time, I heard the door open and a familiar voice say, “Where is she?”
I turned and looked; it was Boyfriend. He had tears rolling down his face as he approached me, arms open. “I’m so sorry I didn’t believe you,” he said as he hugged me. I locked my arms around him and sobbed into his jacket. Mom had called him and told him what happened after listening to my deposition. After composing myself, I returned to writing. I was shaking and my handwriting was atrocious, but it didn’t matter; I just knew that I needed to get everything out.
In the middle of recounting my morning, I heard the officer’s radio sound: “The suspect is in custody.” When I say a huge wave of relief passed though me, I mean a HUGE wave. He was in custody; no more surprise visits; no more worrying about whether or not it was safe to leave the house.
After filling a dozen pages, my Guardian Angel told me that the next step in the process was for me to get a SANE exam; basically, I had to get checked out by a forensics nurse. Though I didn’t think it was necessary since he didn’t hurt me too badly, she said that it was something I had to do for them to acquire more evidence. “You didn’t shower after, did you?” No. But I desperately wanted to.
It was mid-afternoon and the police had all dispersed. I hadn’t eaten anything, and was told to try not to pee until the nurse was able to conduct the exam, and if I had to, I couldn’t wipe; it could alter possible evidence left behind.
When will this day be over?
Mom, my aunt and Boyfriend volunteered to take me to the hospital; Dad decided to stay at the house. On the way to the next town over, I texted my best friend and told her what had happened. She, just like Boyfriend, was in the dark for months, but when everything came to light, she was the one I confided in. She was away at college, so it was difficult to arrange times to actually meet and hang out, but I knew that if I really needed her, she was there for me.
We arrived at the hospital and entered the emergency room. “Please have a seat and fill out these forms. A nurse will come and get you shortly.”
I haven’t eaten. I haven’t peed. Can you just take me back now and get this exam started.
As we sat there, I noticed a hand full of people waiting in the holding area with us. They know, don’t they? They can tell I’ve been raped. What’s taking the nurse so long? After about an hour of waiting, someone called for me. My support system all stood up as if to go with me, but the nurse told them to stay. “This is going to take some time. Its better for you all to wait here,” she told them just before turning to lead me through the doors.
Once in an exam room, the nurse took my vitals and asked me routine health questions: When was your last period? Are you taking any medications? “Okay. Once the SANE nurse gets in, we can start the exam. Do you need anything?” Food! I was so hungry. It was approaching dinner time, and still, no food was allowed. “The nurse will be here any time now.” Another hour had come and gone, and finally, she arrived.
She asked me more questions; this time, about what happened. She asked, I answered, she wrote. This went on for a while until it was time for the physical evidence procurement. The clothes I came in wearing, the one’s he made me strip out of, were taken as evidence. Every inch on my body was swabbed and ran over with a black-light. Any slight imperfection was photographed, and that did not excluded a thing: the acne on my face: photograph; the glowing area they spotted with the black-light around my bellybutton: photograph; marks on my skin from where he grabbed me: photograph; “Did he enter you vaginally?”: photograph; “Did he enter you anally?”: photograph; “Did he enter you orally?”: photograph. If a rape victim does not feel any less of a human being before being subjected to a SANE exam, she/he definitely will after.
Finally. She was done. But I still was not allowed to leave; a doctor had to come in and verify the exam with a signature. Again, waiting ensued. But since the exam had been conducted and the evidence was collected, I was able to use the restroom and eat. The nurse went and told my support system that I was finished and they were allowed to visit. Luckily, they had gone to the cafeteria and grabbed me a sandwich before hand. They really did love me…
Sorry for the brief hiatus guys; been quite busy and I haven’t had the time to dedicate to my blog. I hope to get back in the swing of things and continue sharing my story.