One thing which never crossed my mind was to seek support or report it to the police. Not even once. To me, rape was something which happened only to women. Ever since that day I’ve felt a profound, and sometimes overwhelming, sense of guilt that I didn’t report it to the police at the time.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve spent much of my adult life working in organisations supporting survivors of sexual violence.
In the days since Sinaga was sentenced I’ve asked myself whether, if it happened to me as an eighteen-year-old today, would I have been more willing to speak out.
Perhaps, if I was lucky enough to live in London or Manchester – or one of the few other places with local services – I would have known about SurvivorsUK or Survivors Manchester and sought help.
Just knowing that I wasn’t alone would have made a huge difference to me at the time.