Charges have been pressed

On the 7th of August, I went to bed at 2:30am, setting an alarm for 8am. My friend who had come with me on the Friday before was coming with me again to give my statement even though he would have to leave partway through for work. We left at 8:45am and walked there, disappointingly the bakery on the way there was closed because we were hoping to get breakfast. Being me, I am very bad at explaining things, so when we got to the desk I confused the officer. I tripped over my words had to get my friend to explain why I was there. To be fair police officers are intimidating and I am telling a very difficult story. After waiting an hour, I was asked if I preferred to see a female officer, I said yes. I like the way they automatically ask this question in France. I find that since the attack I am sometimes intimidated around men, I don’t know why. Trauma does strange things I suppose. It took until 10:30am until someone came and got me for the statement, half an hour after my friend had already left. It was okay though, I was feeling brave.

I followed the officer into a small room, it was completely different from the last one. She started by taking my ID card and asking for my attacker’s name. I said I wasn’t great spelling stuff in French so passed it written down. She wanted some background, age, nationality, origins and the like. Then she wanted the address and date of where this happened. She was constantly typing away on her computer while I explained the details she was asking for and the attack. She had to ask some for pretty precise details and it wasn’t the most comfortable experience. I also had to answer a lot of questions about the other housemates, one in particular who was very mean to me. This was Myra, she used to make a lot of anti-Jewish and anti-Christian comments and I was sometimes on the receiving end. I was also called a pig by the Arabs in the house, I didn’t think it’s a big deal but apparently, it’s a racial attack commonly used against the French. I was a big tearful a few times.

It lasted for two hours, I was asked a lot of questions and then I had to sign my statement, three copies of it. One for me to keep the other two stay with the police. As part of the ordeal I get to see a psychologist for free at the local hospital for an assessment, she will give a report to the police. I am not entirely sure what the point of that is, but I am going anyway if there is help available I want anything I can have.

I think the part that touched me the most was when she asked me why I hadn’t reported it before. Quite simply fear. I was threatened with homelessness, I had had threats from my attacker though another housemate. Second, comes shame, I was embarrassed and ashamed. I told myself I could live with it, I said I was okay and other people have lived with worse. I think I realise now I am not okay. I’ll know more when I see the psychologist. I have been downplaying the aftermath, putting it down to me surviving and coping the best I can, but I think this will do me some good. I think I have had a traumatic experience and I am sure my drinking is testament to that trauma. Now it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing what the police will do. I have been told this statement will be bounced around a few stations while they find my attacker. They have a possible town from his Facebook. Time will tell but I feel a lot better. It was a difficult thing to do but I am glad that I have done it and I think it was the right thing to do. I only hope I don’t end up regretting this if it gets difficult, I have spent the past two and a half years trying to forget while still enduring the living nightmares that plague me. Sometimes I am fine, sometimes I am easily triggered and can’t face anything. Hopefully, now I will be able to go back to normal, how I was before this disaster happened.

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