I was assaulted in the street and the police were called immediately. There was a witness, there was DNA, they had everything they needed.
I was shaken and traumatised by the incident, but the police kept calling me during my working hours and and leaving voicemails asking for a statement, saying that if I didn’t give one then they would have to close the case. Every time I pulled the strength to call back, the officer dealing with my case wasn’t in. I made my working hours clear to them, and told them when it would be convenient to call, but they kept calling during the daytime and leaving increasingly snippy voicemails.
During this time the assault was constantly on my mind, and I began to deeply question the point of the justice system. What would even happen to this man? Did I have the strength to face him in court? Would incarceration even mean anything in systemic patriarchy where he would only be released and go on holding the same beliefs and attitudes as he did before. What if I bumped into him?
I was reassured by a woman at a police station that I would have up to 6 months to prepare myself to give a statement, so believed that I had time to compose myself and go to them when I was ready.
Eventually, I received a letter saying that if I did not call them within 7 day, the case would be closed. I called 5 days after the letter was dated, and was informed that because I hadn’t replied, the case had already been closed and there was nothing I could do any more.
This was definitely less than 6 months after the assault, and I felt completely traumatised, unsupported and manipulated by the male police officers handling the case throughout the whole process. The justice system does not serve women, it does not serve survivors.