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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
'Why I hid my rape'
Ulrika Jonsson
Ulrika Jonsson was 19 at the time of the alleged attack
Ulrika Jonsson claims she was raped while on a casual date. Similarly, Angela Bradburn was attacked on a night out with friends - but unlike Ulrika, she went to the police after more than a decade in silence.

I was raped 13 years ago by a man I've known most of my life. I reported it to the police last year.

I was 17 and in the pub drinking with some friends. We bumped into this guy and his friends, and we all sat around talking.

What women tell rape crisis lines
97% knew their assailant
Less than 7% had reported it to police
He invited me back to his friend's house, so I phoned my foster mother to ask if I could go. She said no, so he basically dragged me back there. As soon as we got inside, he locked the doors and then he raped me. That's the condensed version.

I was too scared to report it at the time, because I knew him and his family, and because he'd threatened me. I didn't think that anybody would believe me; sometimes I even wondered if I deserved it.

But if I'd heard for definite that he'd attacked anyone else, I would have gone straight to the police with my story.

Date rape
When no means NO!
After the attack, he tormented me - in fact he still does when I see him around occasionally.

He'd laugh at me in the street, he'd say things to wind me up, such as: 'When are we going to do it again with you enjoying it?' It would get me in such a state that I'd shout accusations at him, or go off and jump in the river or something.

He also played the 'he said, she said' game, asking his friends if they really believed that he could rape someone.

Identify with Ulrika

I watched Ulrika talk about her rape on TV last week, and I felt so sorry for her. I identified with some of the things she was saying, like when she said she had kissed him. I'd done that with the guy who raped me and had said 'No!' when it started to go further.

Ulrika at her book launch
Ulrika's rape revelation sparked a media frenzy
She also said it messed up her attitude to sex. Same here, but only once I fell in love. Up until I met my husband, I didn't respect myself enough to say 'No, you can't have sex with me'. Once I was married, for years it was any excuse not to. I thought I didn't like sex.

I don't understand why Ulrika doesn't go to the police. She claims he's done it to other women - if that's the case, I personally would have to report it, otherwise I would feel responsible.

I know how hard it is to go to the police, but having them believe me really helped.

Home Office figures
61,000 women raped a year in England and Wales
One fifth of women date raped say it's 'just something that happens'
It was the police themselves who encouraged me to report it.

My daughter had phoned them after my husband and I had had a row, and the police came and sat and talked to me. It came out that I'd been abused as a kid, that I'd been raped, and they asked me to make a statement.

I thought there was no point as it had happened so long ago. The police assured me that even if it never went to court, my statement would go on record and be cross-referenced with any cases in the future.

Ulrika Jonsson
Ulrika refuses to identify her alleged assailant
The police were absolutely fantastic, they were totally on my side all the way. My victim liaison officer was still coming to see me months later - she was brilliant.

Although it looked for a while as if it might go to court, eventually the CPS decided it was too long ago. But it's still on file, and that's the important thing.

Real Time gives people a chance to tell their own stories in their own words. If you've got something to say, click here.

Angela Bradburn
"He dragged me back to a friend's house"

See also:

17 Oct 02 | Entertainment
23 Jul 02 | UK
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