I was raped by someone I thought was a friend. I finally reported him to the cops, but I live alone in a city where i walk everywhere. He knows all of this, along with my daily habits. I don't want to change my lifestyle, but I need safety, especially at my apartment (which is where he raped me). Pepper spray (which I already have), tasers, stun guns--I've seen cops use these things on men of his size & it makes no difference. I feel like I have no choice but to get a gun. Please help me think of another option.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (74 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I'm smart and rational, and have been on my own for 10 years. The man who raped me worked at jobs that required a criminal background check, so I know he doesn't have convictions for anything violent. I know that all of this seems completely out of his character, which is why I was in shock for months and didn't report it. But he was so bold in what he did to me, knowing I knew his name and where he worked and could send the cops there to find him, he never worried. Everything about what he did tells me he's done it before and will do it again. And I may have given him the confidence to do it again and think he'll never get caught.
I made the report to the police but he won't know about it until a week from now, when detectives contact him. There's not enough evidence to charge him with my rape--I waited months, never got a rape test, he was in my apartment with me, no witnesses--whatever, I didn't report him thinking this was going to get him locked up. I reported him for the next girl that he rapes--if she goes to the cops, I want my report on her side when it becomes his word against hers.
The cops already told me they'd have to talk to everyone he worked with at his old and new jobs to see if they'd ever seen him doing anything like this to other girls. He'll know that other people are hearing rumors about him, and he'll worry about getting a job here (I heard he had problems getting his current job). He's going to be very angry at me. I'm afraid the reason that no charges have been brought against him in the past is that he intimidated those girls into not saying anything. He really needs this to go away, and he'll know the only one that can make it all magically go away is me. Do I think this person would ever come after me like that when the cops would know he did it? He already committed a crime against me, knowing I could go straight to the cops and tell them everything. So I'm scared.
So lets be realistic. This person is over a foot taller and 100 lbs more than me. If I tried to hit him with a baseball bat or stab him with a knife, he's going to be able to get it away from me. A gun feels like my only chance, but obviously I can't walk around with a concealed weapon. The police told me that if he tried to approach me on the street, I should call 911 immediately. So now I have to count on me being able to dial 911 and them getting to me in time? At least I could try to outrun him, run home, lock myself in my apartment and call 911. If he tried to bang down the door or bust through a window in the meantime, I'd shoot him.
The problem is that getting a gun is such a process, and i really, really don't want to own a gun. I've never even touched one. I've already gone though this trauma over and over again, I'm trying not to make it worse on myself. Also, I know there's a waiting period and I imagine it would be pretty costly--I'm not putting a price on my safety, I'm thinking about how much $ I could scrape together immediately.
I'm hoping one of you can think of something I can LEGALLY own and keep in my home to use as a weapon against someone so much bigger than me. Bonus points if you can think of anything I can carry on me when I leave my house to run errands. I know the laws vary by state, so I want to add that I live in California.
I'm in my late 20s with no boyfriend or brother to protect me. My father is hours away and doesn't know--thinking of his daughter getting raped would give him a heart attack. And he's no physical match for this guy either! Any guy friends I have, I know just about as well as I know the guy who raped me. Even if I had a giant boyfriend to protect me, he can't be with me 24/7, and i refuse to live my life with anyone being my 24/7 bodyguard. If he breaks down my door in the middle of the night, I'll only have myself to depend on. The amount of time it takes from the time I realize what he's doing, to the moment he can physically grab me--that could be seconds. Those few seconds will be my only chance to protect myself against him. At that point, pepperspray, stun guns, tasers, self defense moves, a knife--whatever I choose HAS to work. I won't get a second chance to even the playing field. I'm a very petite female.
If you have anything you don't want to say here, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS - I looked up airsoft guns but those don't seem like they would stop him if he was coming at me. What about a flare gun, or something like that? I know that sounds weird, but if I shot someone at a close distance with a flare gun, wouldn't that stop them?
Also, I read this thread already (http://ask.metafilter.com/154851/Selfdefense-options-for-the-home). my apartment doesn't allow dogs (but if they did and I had a lot of money, I'd go get myself a security-trained german shepherd). I have bear spray already, it was feet away from me when I was raped--obviously this time I'd be more prepared to grab & use it, but even if I sprayed him, i'm afraid he could easily grab his eyes in pain with one hand, and grab me with the other (& using it indoors means there's a strong chance I could be effected, keeping me from being able to run out of my apartment!)
(and to any female going through this who finds this post now or 2 years from now: I'm okay and you will be too. Whatever happens, I don't regret reporting him, and I never will. The only thing I regret is taking so long to report him, and worrying that some other girl was raped in the meantime. Please report your rapist, even if you don't think it's going to help you in anyway. I'm going through this to protect all of you from him--so please protect me and everyone else from the guy that raped you. They'll do it again, this time with the confidence of knowing they can get away with it. If you don't think you're strong enough to go through it, you're wrong! Sometimes we don't know how strong we are because we haven't gotten a chance to test ourselves yet. If you get raped, it's not getting through the rape itself that makes you strong--you have no choice but to get through it. It's everything you do afterward that makes you strong. And then anytime you face adversity in the future, you won't worry that you're not strong enough to go on. You'll know that you are. And so am I.)