I wanted to share this story because nowadays this kind of story is becoming more and more common.
Women and men can be victims of this kind of crime and most go unreported or never get the justice required. It is close to my heart, especially as I have worked in mental health and seen the effect that this kind of event can have upon people.
A girl I know went through quite a surreal yet horrific experience. She is able to talk to me about it because she is unable to attach the emotion she is supposed to feel to the situation she went through.
She went on to tell me her story...Lets call her Scarlet.
Scarlet was and still is an average girl. She is average looking, with mousey hair and greeny coloured eyes. She has never been overly popular and had limited friends. She never really had much confidence.
It was 6pm on a Sunday evening and she was out at a local bar with a male friend, having a catch up. She reports having had a couple of large vinos, which to Scarlet wasn't an excessive amount as she drank regularly.
The bar was quiet and her and her friend were talking about the weekend just gone, which had been quiet for them both and the week ahead.
Scarlet's friend asked her if would she mind if he popped over to the pub over the road as he needed to ask about some work and wouldn't be long, Scarlet was fine with this as she was a regular in the pub and she glanced at the bar and saw a guy that she knew through a member of her extended family.
Her friend left the bar and Scarlet grabbed her second glass of wine and headed over to chat to the guy she was familiar with at the bar. He was with another bloke who she didn't know. Scarlet stated that she felt comfortable and was relaxed just waiting for her friend to return.
The two men who she was chatting with asked her if she fancied a shot. Now Scarlet reports at the time, she knew she hadn't work tomorrow and to be social agreed.
The remaining part of the story isn't in fact Scarlet's story because Scarlet sadly, but she also tells me that in reflection is quite grateful that she cannot recall the following events that occurred.
Scarlet reports awaking at approximately at 10am the following morning on her friends living room floor surrounded by bowls of vomit and towels. Her friend came into her and asked if she was ok. Scarlet explained to me at that moment she felt, albeit very tired and a bit of a headache but generally fine and had no idea what the hell was going on.
Her friend asked if she could remember any thing about what happened the night before. Scarlet said that she couldn't remember anything bad but was concerned that she cannot remember getting back to his house. She stated that the last thing she remembers was being stood at the bar with the two men.
Her friend advised her that she needed to speak with the barmaid of the pub she had been in and was very reluctant to tell Scarlet why. Scarlet stated that she felt extremely confused and a little annoyed at what seemed like a load of drama over nothing.
About 4pm on the Monday Scarlet eventually got hold of the local bar maid who gave her an account of what she had seen the night before.
Scarlet reports that the bar maid was kind but quite direct. The bar maid went on to tell Scarlet that she was concerned for her on that evening as Scarlet had disappeared from the bar leaving her handbag open on the bar area. Scarlet thought that was really strange as she didn't usually do things like that. Scarlet stated that this was beginning to sound really surreal and just could not recall this from the pervious evening.
Scarlet states that she is able to tell me this story because it isn't her account and she feels like she is telling the story about someone else.
The bar maid said to Scarlet that she was so concerned of her disappearance she went outside to look for her and to pop into the next pub to ask the friend Scarlet had arrived with if he knew where she was, he didn't.
It was a snowy November evening and freezing cold. Snow lay on the floor and continued to settle.
The barmaid and Scarlet's friend saw one of the men who Scarlet was with walking back over to the pub, he had come from an alley way. The barmaid walked towards the alley way, and could see a figure lying on the floor covered in snowflakes.
The barmaid told Scarlet that she had found her lying semi naked in the snow and said that Scarlet was totally incoherent.
When Scarlet was telling me this, she seemed a bit detached to the words that were coming out of her mouth. She was able to articulate them clearly without really showing any emotion. Something that I'm sure usually would give anyone a glimpse of distress.
The barmaid told Scarlet the name of the man walking across the road from where she had been found and to do what she wished with this information. Scarlet said that she felt numb and felt nothing and totally baffled with what she was hearing. It just didn't add up to her and could not remember no matter how hard she tried to recall the events of the night before.
Scarlet went back to her parents house and sat up a lot of the night thinking about the information that she had been told. Scarlet said she felt like she had been listening to a story about someone else.
The following morning was Tuesday, Scarlet reports still trying to process the information she was provided by the barmaid. Eventually she decides to call her boyfriend and says "hypothetically if you were told this" she gave him the information that she had been told, "what would you do?". Scarlet's boyfriend immediately questioned her and asked what had happened. Scarlet stated that she regurgitated the information to him, again with no emotion. He told her to tell her parents and inform the police.
At this point Scarlet said she started to become emotional, she stated not because she can remember anything but because the story is so sad and she knows that she has to do something, for if this really did happen, this man needs to be reported.
Scarlet went on to tell me that she told her mum, who in her typical mum style was very diplomatic and appeared unemotional herself. Scarlet informed her dad, who she states must have been in shock as she remembers him waffling on about going out drinking and what she was wearing. Scarlet states that to this very day she can remember exactly what she was wearing that night.
Scarlet called the police, she states that two plain clothed women officers arrived at her parents house, they were very nice and extremely patient and supportive with her. They took the name of her friend, the barmaid and the two guys that Scarlet had been talking to. The officers immediately said that they knew of the accused man and his family and were not surprised.
The officers went on to tell Scarlet that she would need to have tests. They were booked at a special clinic for 7pm that evening, where the police would take her.
Scarlet states that she hadn't had a shower since Sunday, purely as Monday and the Tuesday had been somewhat chaotic and once she had told the police on Tuesday morning they told her not to have one.
Scarlet had to have her hair cut, swabs taken and generally not very nice personal tests completed.
The investigation went on for several weeks. The accused man's dna came back to being all over Scarlet, something Scarlet, to this day says that she cannot get her head around.
The accused man reported that the sexual acts had been consensual. To which Scarlet was horrified, because she knows that there was no way on this earth she would have had sex or anything sexual related with this man and no matter how much she loved her boyfriend at the time would not ever have contemplated getting naked in the snow to have sex down an alley way, let alone with a stranger.
Scarlet reports that she felt sick and although cannot recall any of the event said that she felt angry about it.
Scarlet's blood results came back negative for any type of "date rape" drug. The police said that it was probably because by the time the blood was taken and tested it was likely to not be in her system, as some of the well known "date rape" drugs can leave the system as soon as 12 hours after taking. Most have no trace between 48-72 hours.
Scarlet's case was dismissed by the Crime Prosecution Service (CPS) due to not enough evidence and the fact that it came down to Scarlet's word against this man.
Scarlet reports that the police were really supportive and said that this sadly happens frequently and that they would keep the man's name on file in case other cases came up.
Scarlet reports although that she cannot remember the event, which she is actually really grateful for and feels so sorry for women and men that can remember the ordeal. She did say that she gets emotional when she talks about it, purely for the sadness of feeling so vulnerable back then and that there isn't any justice for her and other victims of the same or similar crimes.
Sadly for Scarlet, she lived in the same town as the accused so she reports avoiding going out socially and certainly to those pubs for some years after. She states that on occasion she has seen the accused or his friends to which she has been on the receiving end of being ridiculed in public. Scarlet is by no means an idiot and has reported each of those incidents to the police to build a case, just in case he should do something else to either her or someone else in the future.
Scarlet reports that she has the occasional flashback, but is unsure whether it is actually from that night or whether it is because it is something that she has noticed when she has seen him since.
Scarlet states that she just gets on with her life and it doesn't effect aspects of her life like it possibly could of if she could have remembered that night, although the facts of it will stay with her forever. She does report that she does still try to avoid her home town for the fear of bumping into him and says that if she did see him she would probably get out and escape as quickly as possible, even the thought of it she says gives her anxiety.
Scarlet said that she would like to get her story out there, in case other people have been in similar situations. She says that if you were like her and cannot remember and have only other peoples words to go on. Report it as soon as possible, regardless of the outcome because they might be the statistic that does get caught and punished for their despicable crime.