I/dc]t’s quite rare for me to blog about or comment on current affairs, politics or news. I never watch the news, rarely listen to it and only read the paper when I’m bored, and even then I take so long to get around to writing about something that I usually forget or the topic has grown old. Last week though there was an article in the paper that made me as proud as it did sad, on a topic close to my heart, that goes to illustrate in a way point I’ve often preached about in my life.
In the UK a teenage girl was raped and last week her attacker was sent to jail because she kept her head about her to not only survive the attack but to also ensure her attacker could be prosecuted after the event. Her clever actions have helped to put this serial rapist behind bars where he belongs. News Article
After being grabbed off the streets by the man and forced into his car she took some knowledge learned from tv’s crime shows and put it to good use; pulling out a few strands of hair and stuffing them down behind the seat into a spot that would likely be missed when he cleaned the car, and making sure to leave her DNA & thus further evidence to be used against him by spitting on the seat to leave her DNA rich saliva invisibly behind. Once she was freed she also created a map of where he had taken her, a map that became key in finding her attacker – he had taken her to a disused army barracks near to where he had served whilst he was in the army.
It turns out that perhaps he had seen the same shows as he made his victims clean themselves after the attack with baby wipes, in an attempt to remove evidence. However that spit stayed on that car seat and those concealed hairs remained concealed until recovered by the police. At the time she figured there would be an investigation and wanted to do whatever she could to assist it.
The guy, a 30 yr old soldier had attacked numerous other girls prior to this and has been called a ‘clever and cunning predator’, taking many of his victims unaware, often right near their homes in places one would consider “safe” and then force them into his car at knife-point.
Since I was a teenager I’ve loved one NIRVANA song more than all the rest because of the message that it conveys. The song ‘Rape Me‘, which is often misconstrued as a pro-rape song but rather it is in fact the absolute opposite. If it were a tale that had a moral it would basically be – If you are going to rape me there’s not much I can do about it and it’s certainly not my fault, but if you are going to do it, I’ll damn well do what I can to make sure you pay.
The girls attacked by this guy weren’t doing anything wrong, when he grabbed them their lives were at risk and he couldv’e killed them for not complying with his demands. Trying to fight him or stab him with his own knife would likely have cost them their lives, angering him could have earned her a knife in the throat. And whilst I’m certain this particular victim didn’t just grin and bear it, she used a level head to ensure that she took action and fought back in a way which she could safely do to ensure he paid for what he did whilst also protecting her life.
If someone chooses you as their rape victim there isn’t much you can do to prevent it, there might be something you can do to stop it depending on the situation, but there is certainly something you can do to make sure your attacker can be caught and punished.
A piece of their hair, a scraping of their skin under your nails, their bodily fluid on your clothing, yours on theirs. It only takes a small amount of blood, saliva, semen or vaginal secretions to leave behind the unique DNA that can be traced back to the event and the parties involved. A few hairs tucked behind a seat or a little saliva left to dry on fabric that’s associated with the attacker.
The details are also important and helpful, create a mnemonic to help you recall a number plate ((like FHD = Fuck Hes Dumb), scratch it in the dirt, write it on glass with your finger (even better with a wet finger), or type it into your phone if you can. Try and remember every details you can and try to leave as much evidence as you can. It is also important to not shower, no matter how strong your desire to do so is and quickly get yourself to a hospital so that any injuries can be taken care of and further evidence can be gathered to help catch your attacker.
Sadly there will still be times when nothing a victim does can save their lives, but if ever you find yourself in a situation such as this do everything you can in order to aid an investigation. And remember that if someone chooses you as their rape victim there isn’t much you can do to prevent it… but your actions may prevent them from being able to do it again.
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped you can contact one of these services in your area:
Australia: You can contact the NSW Rape Crisis Centre’s 24hr hot-line: 1800 424 017 (no matter which state you are in, they can direct you to local services)
UK: Rape Crisis England and Wales 24hr hot-line: 0808 802 9999
Many more are available in other areas which you can find on google.