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The following is the Victim Personal Statement of one of Iain Ochieng’s victims.
On the evening of the 12 June 2019 I met my friends in Castle Park, my intention was to enjoy their company, have fun and go home afterwards, normal behaviour for a girl of my age.
I accept that I drank a little more than I probably intended too, and normally would have, but who hasn’t? Little did I know that after leaving my friends to walk back home I would become the victim of a rapist, and his actions would lead to me having to undergo an intimate examination at the Bridge sexual referral clinic, have my behaviour on that night called into question and ultimately lead to me having to defend my actions in court, which is an environment totally alien to me.
The actions of that man on that night will never leave me, and whilst I accept that my memory detailing the full events of that evening is clouded by alcohol I find myself questioning if I could of done anything different to of avoided being in that situation at that time, but who goes out with their friends expecting to be raped? No one I should imagine.
I could not have foreseen the result of me walking home alone drunk and I can only contemplate my bad luck to come face to face with such a person.
I have struggled to sleep since the assault and find I am still awake during the early hours of the morning questioning my judgement that night and this has an effect on my ability to concentrate at work the following day.
I have had to inform my manager at work of what happened to me as on occasions I would get upset at work and need to take a little time out to get myself together, discussing such an event with a stranger was uncomfortable and something I could never imagine having to ever do.
I don’t wish to obtain medication from my doctor as I believe that such medicines can have a longer term lasting effects and I am hoping that given time my sleep deprivation and anxiety will at least ease.
I am anxious when going out and I find that I will avoid going out without my boyfriend or another family member, and whilst I am determined to try and lead a normal life I now find that I make people aware of where I am going and when they should expect me back.
I now constantly look over my shoulder and at times have had the feeling of being followed when this clearly isn’t the case and seems irrational.
I go out of my way to avoid areas that I identify as being similar to the area where the rape took place.
During the first few months my relationship with my boyfriend suffered. He has been supportive towards me, but I found I was avoiding intimate physical contact with him as the pain and memory of what had happened to me would not allow me to be as loving and intimate as I would normally have been towards him.
We have been together for several years and during this time, whilst we have had disagreements like most relationships, I have never been unfaithful to him, and I believe he has also stayed loyal to me, yet the actions on 12 June by the person who raped me could have jeopardised all that we had built up between us.
I would love to know what right this person thought he had to take me off the street and rape me. Why me? What had I done to make him believe it would be okay for him to do such a thing to me? For me there can be no justification for his actions that night.
I will try to be strong and over time will no doubt move on from this and it is therefore in the hands of the justice system that I place my trust in the hope that they are able to ensure that this person isn’t free to prey on another lone female who was just enjoying a night out with her friends and had the misfortune to meet a rapist.