About a year ago, I was raped by a co-worker. It was a traumatic experience that shattered my entire world. When I anonymously reported the crime, the police insisted it was my fault; and when the story was picked up by the news, I was accused of making the accusation “for attention.”
And you know what? They’re right: I anonymously reported my rape for the anonymous attention.
There’s nothing more thrilling than being publicly dragged through the mud as strangers speculate about why you deserved to have a horrific crime committed against you. Most women dread this ritual of victim-shaming, but not me. I reported the crime because I wanted some attention, without any of the attention specifically aimed at me.
What can I say? I’ve just always kind of been one of those people who feeds on drama!
As many women know, the process of reporting the rape can be as traumatic as the assault itself. The burden of proof is put upon the victim and there’s often a bias toward innocence, which can make the entire process feel futile and even cruel. The process of reporting my rape nearly destroyed me, but it was all worth it—just to see my name, “21-year-old woman,” emblazoned in newspapers next to the words, “may have had two beers that night.”
To be honest, I just wanted to feel like a victim—without any of the actual aid or benefits of being one. For me, that was enough.
Yes, the attention I’ve received has largely been negative. That’s because many people believe that the assault was my fault in some way. This is another reason why I chose to come forward: so that I could be silenced and berated by thousands of men. I just have one of those “all press is good press” mentalities, even when it comes to hateful anonymous comments directed at an anonymous me.
I did not tell the police in order to heal or even to seek justice; I did it so that people could call me a whore without knowing exactly who they’re talking about. Nothing makes me feel more alive than playing the part of a faceless, untrustworthy victim!
If something like this ever happens to you—and I hope it never does—you have a decision to make. Choose wisely. And if you’re doing it for attention and you don’t care about the tone or quality of that attention—congrats, you will get a lot of it!