My experience reporting sexual assault to the Queensland Police
This article contains mention of SA and victim blaming.
When I was 18 and one month, I was assaulted in a nightclub. I was talking to a man earlier in the night at the bar, and then I returned to my friends. Later, I went to the bathroom and he followed me into the cubicle and assaulted me.
Two days later, I went to my local police station to report what had happened. They sent me into a room with a detective who was also a woman.
I told her the entire story. It took a while for me to get out and when I could, it was between hiccups and sobs. I told them that I knew the man's first name and the full name of his friend. I told them the nightclub had ID scanners and cameras.
She patiently waited until I was finished, gave me a glass of water and some tissues, and then started asking me questions.
Did I know the man beforehand? No.
How many drinks had I had? About 10.
Did I have a boyfriend? Yes.
Did I tell the man I had a boyfriend? No.
Was my boyfriend out at the club with me? No.
What did I say to the man when we were talking at the bar? We were talking about what we were studying at uni, and he asked me if I wanted a drink. I said I had already ordered one, but thanks for the offer.
Was there a specific reason why my boyfriend didn’t come with us to the club? I started getting a bit frustrated at this point and told her because we aren’t joint at the hip and I am allowed to spend time with my friends.
Did I maybe cheat on my boyfriend in the bathroom of the club and now I am regretting it? I didn’t say anything.
Then she told me what it would be like if they took further action.
It would first be approaching the friend whose full name I knew. She said that he might tell them the friend’s name and address, but he might protect his friend and lie. If they did get the man’s name, then they would go to his house. He would probably say that he didn’t do anything wrong. Our system is ‘innocent until proven guilty’, so it would really just turn into a he said, she said situation. I would have to go through the horribly painful situation of court and I would probably lose the case anyway.
I stayed silent throughout her lecture. I gave her the glass of water back and I went home.
I was assaulted and the police did not care to do anything for me. It was probably a normal day for that officer. She has probably never thought about me again, but I will never forget her.