How to view discreetly

lived in Rochdale with my mum, my dad and my brother.  I was 14 years of age and quite social. I used to be friends with my next door neighbours daughter and we used to hang out together and just be kids but 1 week before my 15th birthday all that changed.

My friend asked me if I wanted to go with her to visit her sister who was a good few years older but I did know who she was so I agreed. My friend told me her sister was sending a taxi for us to take us to her sisters house. The taxi turned up down the hill from where we lived we got in and was driven to this house when we got out we were told to go straight into the house and there was my friends sister and two Asian males.  

The taxi driver also entered the house he was only referred to as ….., my friends sister referred to this man as her boyfriend although he looked about early 60s in age but as I was a child I just took what they said with a pinch of salt. We had a lovely afternoon all sat talking and I didn’t once feel uncomfortable we were given an Indian takeaway and a drink (I honestly can’t remember if it was alcohol or not) then we said goodbye and …….. dropped us back off at the bottom of the hill.  

Two days later my mobile started ringing and it was my friends sister and she said my friend was already at her house and would I like to go down and join them.  I didn’t see the harm so I said yes and …… picked me up from the bottom of the hill. He was quite chatty in the taxi and I was happy to be going to meet my friend. When I got to the house my friend wasn’t there but my friends sister was. She told me my friend had gone to the shop and would be back soon.  

So I sat on the floor chatting and waiting there was another man in the house this time who I didn’t see the time before but as I was with a friend I didn’t sense danger.  I needed to go to the toilet so I was shown where it was.  

As I came out of the bathroom the other man was on the top of the stairs he said I was beautiful and I panicked I kept saying excuse me I want to go downstairs but he didn’t listen he pushed me into the bedroom and raped me, I tried to fight him off and I kept shouting for help from my friends sister but she never came. When he finished I lay there in shock for a while then I got up,  got dressed and went downstairs nobody said anything at first and then I was given £5 and told to get in the taxi to be taken home.  

I felt so dirty and was numb and the first thing I did was get in the bath and I cried and cried and cried.  I didn’t eat and I felt awful, I scrubbed and scrubbed at my body but I couldn’t get his smell off me.  

The next day I locked myself in my room and wouldn’t go out and I then received a text message on my phone that said if I went back to the house they’d pay me £80 I was so scared they kept ringing and texting me.  The day after I couldn’t hold it in and told my friend who told an adult who then told my mum and I was taken to the police station to report it.  

I told the police what had happened they took my clothes and my phone and they sent me to St Mary’s hospital to be examined and they said I’d done the right thing, I was pleased that it had been lifted from my chest and I spent my 15th birthday in my bedroom just praying it would all be over soon.  

Then the worst thing happened.  The detectives that were investigating my case came to my mums and basically told me that my attacker had admitted to having sex with me but I’d wanted it and that he hadn’t raped me and I was lying. They all weren’t prosecuted because I was lying or so they said. At that point my relationship with my dad went bad because he told me I’d brought disgrace on the family and that I was a “ paki shagger” and I’ve never forgiven him for that. My mum I believe she believed me but the detectives had said I was a liar so she couldn’t help me.  

I had to bury it somehow and I did, but it took me a long time but I did it. I met my husband and we’ve been together for nearly 18 years now, and he’s my world.  I never told him what happened to me as I began to doubt myself with being called a liar so it was never mentioned, I just hid it. 

Me and my husband moved 8 years ago just to better our lives and that was great until 2 years ago in November 2017 on a Monday evening we were sat having tea and the door bell went. I asked my stepson to get it and he came back and said mum it’s the police to see you.  

I went to the door and there was a detective from  GMP there and she said I’ve come to talk to you about something that happened to you 17 years ago. Well the wind was taken from me and I nearly tumbled she came in and we had a brief chat.  

My husband then came into the room and she explained why she was there, seems that after all these years they finally believed me and that I’d been caught up in a grooming gang. Well she asked me to retalk her through what happened so I did in front of my poor husband who was gobsmacked.  She said did I want to prosecute I said I wasn’t sure so after about 2 hours she got up and went to my door and looked at me and said are you OK I said I think so and she walked out of the door.  

At that point my whole world collapsed.  My husband didn’t know what to do but I did.  I hit the bottle and I didn’t stop till I’d numbed the pain, somehow I managed to pull myself out of bed the day after and I went to work.  My boss took one look at me and knew there was something wrong I then had to tell him. I hit the bottle for 4 days straight as I couldn’t cope with the pain my husband took the bottle off me and said no more.  

Worst thing yet to come was I had to tell my mum and dad. So on the Sunday I drove to my mums and dad’s and I couldnt tell them but my husband did and all my mum kept saying was I’m so sorry I only believed what the police told me. My dad however never said anything and when I found my voice I lost my temper with his asking him if he remembered what he had called me all them years ago (I can honestly say me and my dad do not have much of a relationship due to this).  

He didn’t say sorry for not believing me but it didn’t matter the damage had been done. My  mum however was beside herself with guilt and I told her that if I was to prosecute that she’d be called as part of the trial in court. She looked so worried bearing in mind my mum was 71 years of age that I just couldn’t put her through that.  

So I made the decision a few weeks later not to prosecute due to the fact I had a mental breakdown and because I didn’t want to drag my mum through it. In the end my husband told the police not to contact me again as it was destroying me.   I had a breakdown and was having nightmares and flashbacks and every time I saw an Asian male I’d start shaking. Nearly a year after I managed to get into some counselling and they were amazing. They made me the woman I am now.  

Oh I forgot to add that while the abusers were out on bail after I’d given my original video interview and told the police what had happened to me, and while the police were investigating, the men were still using the house to bring girls to. 

In fact another girl had reported them 2 days after they attacked me and she wasn’t believed either.  There was residents on the street that rang the police and complained that they thought the house was doing something illegal (the detective told me all this on the 2nd time they came). They also told me that my rapist is now dead, but that if he hadn’t been,  they’d of locked him up immediately).  

I still feel guilty that even after I reported them and they were out on bail they were still able to abuse more girls…….