I’ve neglected this blog for a wee while – it was summer – we moved, the little one was off school, the big one had stuff for me to sort, and to be honest, there was nothing I wanted to write about.
Bit odd really, for someone who writes about rape to suggest, in what can only be called a summer of stupid when it comes to the issue, that they had nothing to say. But I didn’t. It had all been said before. If summer taught me one thing, it was that we are not as evolved on the issue as certainly I had believed, and that it would appear that some folk don’t as yet understand the very basics.
Sharon was drug raped. Although for many years she had partial flashbacks, she didn’t fully comprehend what had happened to her until she saw her rapist by chance in a pub.
Her book describes her descent into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, her struggle to receive appropriate help from mental health services, or even basic compassion from some health professionals. How the police, hopeless at dealing with her rape, were the organisation that tried to help her during her suicide attempts.
If such a book can have a happy ending, it is that Sharon eventually, after a struggle she frankly shouldn’t have to have endured, found the help she needed, and started on the road to recovery.
Anyone who in any context works with rape or mental health – police, health professionals, anyone in the CJS, should read this book. Not to feel shame for the way colleagues treated this woman, but to understand the trauma survivors can go through. Anyone outside of those professions should read it to understand what it is those 1 in 4 women who this happens to have to face.
It is a hard read, a gritty, visceral, hits you right in the gut read, but it is very much worth it. It is only available as an e-book, and is £1.53 at the mo, which supports the charity MIND.