S’s Reporting Experience

A Tuesday in September, 2020.

I was on my way to work. I’d decided the weekend before that I wanted to report my sexual assault. I kept putting it off and for some reason at 7:40 am on my way to work was when I decided it was time I called Vancouver Police to report my assault.

I spoke to a lady that calmly told me to not hang up so she could put me in contact with the correct people who ended up being the university police.

That day at work was a blur. My boss wasn’t in much, and I was contacted by the constable assigned to my case by phone and had to tell my story during my shift. I sat in my car and slowly spoke through what happened. I was very shaken up at that point and felt numb. During work that day I was contacted about 4 times with questions on the details of my story, talking me through the process ahead, and putting me in contact with a crisis hotline.

Two days later on Thursday, I was contacted by the crisis hotline and they gave me further information on what the investigation process looks like and what help is available. She said that part of the process is coming into the station and verbally giving my statement and any information to the constable on my file so they can start the investigation and contact the witnesses and attackers to complete the investigation.

Last week, I made my statement in Vancouver. The night before that I was able to read through my story and realize how much I have grown and healed since 2017. I never realized how much I felt like I was drowning and how much heavy weight was on me.

R picked me up at 8am and we got coffee and headed to Vancouver. It was a misty and foggy, cool morning – not too depressing but mirrored what my head was feeling. We talked about the whole process and life in general while we drove, and the closer we got to Vancouver the heavier the weight felt on my shoulders. We drove to the university and it felt as if I was choking. I hadn’t been at this particular university for over a year and all the pain came back. R waited in the lobby while I started my report.

I felt numb the entire time during the report. I was asked about what I remembered, how much I had to drink, who I texted, details about the incident, who I talked to afterwards. When my constable would leave for moments, I started to dig into my hands with my nails again. 

Everything felt super numb. When it finally ended and the video and microphone was turned off, my nail digging stopped. I am very lucky I was assigned a great constable, and he checked how I was actually doing, if I needed anything, if I was okay and if there was anyone to help me get home.

The moment I walked out of the station, the weight on my shoulders was gone for the first time in 3 years. I was able to walk around the university and breathe and feel free. Everything became brighter and the weather became sunny, bright, warm and clear;

the way my brain felt. 

R gave me the biggest hug.

The ride home was totally different. R and I talked about faith, our families, boys, memories and uplifting conversations. There was no weight in our conversations –

just joy.

R + K have been the greatest supporters during this time. R has become one of my closest girlfriends and seeing each other change and grow and taking steps forward has been amazing-

it’s been a glimmer of hope.

Reporting took me 3 years, and I am blessed by the constable I’ve been assigned, the people that are in my life, all the prayers, and my family.

-S, Vancouver

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