At fourteen years old, I went to press charges against my abuser.
It took a lot of courage for me to come out to my family about it, and a ton more to go pursue charges against him. I was nervous and scared, I could barely speak clearly when I was giving my statement to the detective and the social worker who accompanied him (because I was a minor).
Afterward, my family and I were told they could not further the investigation because there was not enough evidence, even though the detective had told my mom, “Something happened to this girl, there is no doubt about it.” There was enough evidence that a detective could tell I wasn’t lying, that something did happen, but not enough to go anywhere with it.
I was upset; I was angry. I wanted justice. But there wasn’t anything I could do.
It still infuriates me to this day; I know this happens to many survivors, and with 6 out of every 100 incidents of sexual assault actually being reported to the police, it makes me even more upset.
Our justice system is failing us. Not only are assailants getting almost disgustingly little time (4-6 years on average!), but survivors who show signs of being sexually abused are being turned away for investigations because there is not enough evidence.
How will there be any evidence?! It’s rare that there is physical evidence of sexual assault, and it’s rare that the assaulter will actually admit to someone about their crimes. If there are signs of someone being sexually assaulted, then there should be enough evidence to launch an investigation, there should be enough to fight it in court.
I plan to go back to the police to attempt to press charges once again. I will get my justice. Not being able get my justice has silenced me enough; I cannot say any info about who my abuser is or what had happened, because I could face accusations of slander since it has not been proven in court.
They walk free and innocent, while I continue to suffer with anxiety issues and depression due to their actions. At this point, I don’t care how long they get incarcerated; I just want to be able to shine my light, speak openly about what happened to me so I can help others, and not let them continue to act innocent.
I will not stand for this any longer. There needs to be a change.