'I was scared of being slutshamed' - Fear of victim blaming stopped this woman from reporting her rape

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Illustration. (Photo: Getty Images)
Illustration. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • TW: This article contains rape subject matter. 
  • This week, it was reported that DJ Fresh and Euphonik will not be prosecuted for multiple sexual allegations due to "insufficient evidence". 
  • Following this, some social media users have slutshamed the women who brought the rape claims against the two DJs. This is one of the reasons why survivors don't report their cases.
  • Here, a sexual assault survivor shares her story with Marley Jones about why she didn't report her rape.  

Bridget Smith*, 30, was raped by ‘Scott’ who she met on an online dating platform in mid-2015.

He seemed nice enough even though his texts were sexual far sooner than expected. He spoke about being “primal”; a sexual kink that includes but isn’t limited to animal play and rough sex.

He said that he "... liked to hold his women down and be rough with them."

"I told him I enjoyed a bit of rough-housing every now and then, but had to be careful because I bruise easy and didn’t want to explain marks to others,” says Bridget.  

READ MORE: ‘I was raped by my ex and didn’t realise it until 3 years later’ – this woman tells us how she is coping with the ordeal 

They met at a café, had a nice date and it went well.

They eventually went back to his place and she asked if they could cuddle instead of having sex. He agreed at first before getting rough, biting her on the neck and demanding she take her clothes off. He then got undressed and revealed he was carrying a gun.  

Scott then raped Bridget and left her with scratch marks, bites and bruises all over her body, as well as a fat lip.  

Bridget, who is American, worked for a government office at the time and knew that if she had reported it, it would have caused a lot of drama. She would have had to tell her manager and the District Attorney. She would have had to drive far from her hometown to go to court as the case would have to be reviewed by another office to avoid conflict of interest. Her colleagues would know her sexual history.

She could’ve been pressured to find another job. She also didn’t tell any of her friends because she was afraid of being told it was her fault due to her previously 'promiscuous' sexual behaviour.  

READ MORE: "Slutwalking" towards a culture of consent 

There are many reasons we don’t report rape. From retraumatising ourselves to being slutshamed to having to see the perpetrators again. We don’t report because of the shame and trauma.

This is why we need to make reporting easier and put victims first before those being accused.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact one of the organisations below:  

Gender-based violence Command Centre: “Please call me” facility: *120*7867# Emergency line: 0800 428 428 

POWA helpline: 011 642 4345 

SADAG has a WhatsApp counselling line that operates from 9am to 4pm: 076 882 2775 

To speak to a SADAG counsellor: 0800 567 567

Tears Foundation helpline: *134*7355# 

Do you have a story to share with us? Tell us about it here.

*Name have been changed

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