Sarah was 19 when she decided to end things with the man she was dating.
He had started to make her feel ‘anxious’, and when she broke it off, he didn’t take it well.
“He continued to call me and harass me,” Sarah told ABC National’s Background Briefing. “He was calling me at home, he was calling me at my university campus… I asked him to leave me alone… I said I didn’t want to see him anymore.”
But her ex-boyfriend would not take no for an answer. He told Sarah unless she came and saw him face to face, he would never leave her alone.
Sarah reluctantly agreed, and as she climbed the stairs to his apartment one otherwise nondescript morning, she promised herself this would be simple. She would tell him this was over, Sarah recounted to the ABC, and finally, he would stop contacting her.
But that isn’t what happened.
That morning, Sarah says her ex-boyfriend raped her.
“There was a violent attack against my will,” she said.
“I said ‘no’ and I screamed and I hit him, and he restrained me. I kicked him, I hit him, I did everything to fight him off, I just wasn’t strong enough. When I left I yelled at him, ‘You raped me!’ And he laughed at me and called me stupid,” Sarah told the ABC.
She went back to a friend’s place following the alleged rape, who told her mum. The friend’s mother then called the police, and Sarah’s mum was told what had happened.
“She absolutely insisted I make a statement,” Sarah told Mamamia.
So that’s exactly what she did. The police took her to the hospital, and then she made an official statement. The police also advised she apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) given she felt threatened, and he continued to pursue her.
Only hours after the order was served, Sarah’s ex-boyfriend called her. He was charged by police over the breach and later appeared in court for the offence.
But Sarah’s alleged rapist was never convicted.
The complainant witness, her best friend at the time, was interrogated by police. “It’s really obvious from her statement they led her into talking about my sexual past,” Sarah told Mamamia. “Did she think I was truthful or not?” She believes the conclusions police drew from these questions influenced the decision not to charge her alleged rapist.
Sarah was devastated. She underwent a great deal of counselling following the ordeal, but eventually fell in love and had a baby.