Claire’s story

Experience of rape by a partner

Following her experience of being raped by her husband, Claire* writes about how the support she received from Victim Support Scotland helped her to cope with what happened to her.

In 2014 I was raped by my husband, from whom I had separated.  For a time after it happened, I was in shock.  I was angry and felt ashamed.  I also was suffering from breast cancer at the time so I had to deal with that too.  I didn’t report the crime until around 4 months after it happened; I was frightened of him as he had threatened me, and I felt that if I didn’t see him and he stayed away from me I would be ok.  But one day I saw him in the town, and decided that I needed to report it to the police.  Although the case didn’t go to court, I am still glad that I reported this as it means that if he does this again, the police will know of his past and it could help someone else.

Woman-on-beach-smiling

I thought I was coping ok with it myself, but I was wrong. I even felt suicidal at one point. My doctor and the police had both suggested speaking with Victim Support, and I did this at a later point when I felt that I needed someone to talk to.

I spoke with someone from Victim Support Scotland on the phone, and she also visited me at home. She helped me realise that what happened wasn’t my fault, and helped me build up my confidence. She also helped me see that alcohol doesn’t give the person the right to rape you, and no amount of gifts can put this right.

Recovering would not have been possible without the fantastic support I received from Victim Support. Although I still have the odd nightmare and I won’t go out at night unless I have company, I now have people saying how well I am looking, and I have a great social life with great family and friends. This wouldn’t have been the outcome if it wasn’t for VSS – I feel that I owe my life to them.

My advice is: please don’t suffer on your own. Use Victim Support as they are very caring to your needs. They never judge you, and are nothing but a power of strength to help you over whatever it is that you have experienced.

*Name changed to preserve anonymity. Pictures are for illustrative purposes only.

Whoever you are and whatever the crime, we’re here to help