A Rape Victim Explains Why She Didn’t Go to the Police

Liz Spikol explains:

I was raped at 17. My rapist was not a powerful celebrity. He was a nobody. But I didn’t go to the police. I didn’t go to a hospital.

Why don’t we tell…? Because our skin burns with shame. I thought my body would never get clean, not only from him but from my own stupidity and weakness. The minute after it ended I felt like I was being torn into pieces, like I was on fire, and I just wanted to shower. I felt crazy, confused, angry, beaten, lost, like I had a zipper running from throat to naval. I felt more alone than I’ve ever felt before or since. I felt like the severed pieces of my body were floating in darkness. I felt savaged. I felt terrified. Here’s what I did not feel: capable of calmly picking up the phone. Capable of walking to the hospital and talking to one functionary after another. Capable of filling out paperwork. Capable of being touched by another person without exploding into flames. Capable of functioning at all like a human being because I wasn’t a human being. I felt like if I even went outside of my room my organs would explode out of my body. How would I explain that to the cops?

Ultimately, I told one person who I swore to secrecy. Had I allowed him to tell others, my rapist would perhaps be serving time rather than serving sandwiches in a vegetarian restaurant in the Bronx where, last I heard, he was a manager. But I believed I was to blame.



6 thoughts on “A Rape Victim Explains Why She Didn’t Go to the Police

  1. I clicked on the link. I do think it would be helpful to include to include the Cosby context. Mostly due to his TV dad roles, Cosby is/was viewed as a benevolent authority figure, kind of like some popular and revered rabbis.

    For a while it’s been known that Cosby was a bit of a philanderer (see Autumn Jackson), but serial rapist is a whole new level.

  2. I guess men will never understand a female rape victim–if someone, for example, attacked me and beat me, i cant imagine why i wouldnt go to the police–in addition, when a rape victim does NOT go to the police, then she is allowing a rapist to keep raping.–Just dont get it.

    • So, are you saying that if you were gang raped you would be ready to get up o a witness stand and describe it blow by blow, detail by detail. If you feared for your life and agreed to perform fellatio would be willing to go up on a witness stand and describe it and deal with a defense lawyer who would try to portray it as consensual? If your rapist was a member of your community with a chorus of backers, you would be able to and willing to agree to deal with the vilification that would go along with the decision to press charges? Even if all of the above was true, would you have been at the same stage when you were 17 or 19?

      • Too bad you can’t get more graphic than that, in the interest of decorum. In answer to my friend who asked me, “what did Yudi Kolko really do that was so bad?”, I had to go so far as to say “imagine your son, Chaim…..” then I went on to describe exactly what Kolko did wrong, in graphic detail. My friend shuddered at the thought. So I said, if this disturbs you so much in relation to your own son, why are other people’s sons more expendable to you?

    • google – YES All Daughters – what is happening in Norman, OK is why women don’t say anything. Or Project Unbreakable – the pictures are painful and personal; reporting a crime like this isn’t so easy for women, and it is worse for men, who are subjected to even more abuse if they admit that another man raped them. No one should be judged for not going to the police, they should just be supported when they finally do share their story.

  3. Here is the bad news: Rape trials re-victimize the victim. The rapist’s defense counsel will use every intimidating remark to cast doubt on the victim. The victim will be characterized as having invited the rape and will be characterized as having consented. According to an officer acquaintance, rapists go unpunished for years because the justice system forces them to remain quiet. Cosby’s accusers are now coming forward, but had they come forward at the time, they would have been vilified in the media as attacking “America’s Dad”.

    When a close relative was raped, and subsequent to the visitation by a detective, we, of necessity took matters into our own hands. The rapist was known, and was known to have done this with complete impunity in other cases. So there was very little fanfare when he showed up with a broken leg. His father made some small financial recompense and the rapist was re-located to Israel eventually, however, there were several calls made to the town he eventually occupied, warning of his predilections.

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