What happens to everyone else?

When I got assaulted I was very vocal about the event, in a timid way however still very vocal. I told my family less then a week after it happened and my sister was one of the first people I told, as I didn’t know what to do. I went to the police the day after and I told a teacher at my college. So I was on my way to get the help I needed.


However what happens to everyone else?


My mother came to stay with me for a week and my emotions were insane, I was a rollercoaster and I didn’t even know what to expect. One morning as I was leaving for drama school and my fuse was so short. I don’t remember where in the time line this was at but I just know I was angry. I was doing something in my room and my mum was there and whatever it was I was doing was not going the way I wanted it to go and so I had a rage go through me. It was directed at the item in question, something very stupid I am sure however my mum burst into tears and wouldn’t stop crying. “For fucks sake” was my initial thought and I didn’t understand why she was crying, this wasn’t her struggle. Her crying made my anger not settle but it fueled it further as I was angry that she could be upset for me, watching her daughter go through something like this. I had to just leave and get out of there before I turned into the hulk. I was so mad, I don’t know if I have ever been that mad since. That feeling of being so out of control and no one is helping me; instead they (the police and my so-called friend S) are making the whole situation worse. Now I have my family to deal with on top of it.


My mother rarely spoke about the situation with me however when she did it was in code, as if she couldn’t say the words. Even to this day I don’t think she’s said them. I mean, it was difficult for me to say them, I think it took me six years to utter the words rape. My mother still hasn’t said it, she refers to it as, “the very bad event”. It’s not like she doesn’t know what happened or that she doubts me but I didn’t realize how it affected my family.


My dad, all I remember him saying, and the words still ring in my ears to this day were, “they can take your body but they can never ever take your soul.” When my soul felt dead so I didn’t really care for those words at the time. Now I cherish them dearly as I know he was 100% right.


The reason why I was thinking about this recently is because a friend of mine who is going through something similar right now says her mother starts talking about tablecloths or kitchen appliances to chance the subject. No one gives a shit about that sort of stuff really but that’s how some people deal with it, they start talking about the most boring subjects known to man. It is like they internalize everything and they cannot let it out. So how much of this affects our family? An event like this not only takes something so precious from the one who has been assaulted but it also affects those around us, even if they don’t talk about it or try and change the subject to talk about the weather changes recently – a very British thing to do.


Who helps the people around us who are meant to be helping us? My brother was struggling with his own issues when this happened and this event layered him with guilt, guilt that was not his to carry but he did anyway. Eight months after my assault my brother committed suicide. I was so angry at him as I felt like he had bailed on me. I needed him and he had just taken his brotherly duties away. Part of me knew he did what he needed to do, as he was in a lot of pain however I then turned into a selfish, zombie. I was so angry that he could do this and at that time too.


I know what support is out there for women and men who endure such a horrific event however what is out there for the families? I still don’t know and even if I did know I don’t know if families would go, because then they would really be admitting what they already know.


Assaults don’t just affect one person and that’s what is even harder to deal with, it is having to watch your mother breakdown and your siblings not know how to interact with you anymore as they don’t want to push a fragile person over the edge.


Lindsay Lucas-Bartlett

Lindsay Lucas-Bartlett

Lindsay is a British actress currently living in Los Angeles. It was during her time at drama school in London back in 2007 when Lindsay got date raped. After six years of therapy, travelling the globe to get away from London, Lindsay settled in LA where she has been for the past five years. Now happily married with a furry baby of a dog, Lindsay has started her next journey into helping others. Lindsay joined forces this year with VDAY to help bring awareness of sexual and physical violence across the globe that is inflicted on women everyday. Lindsay produced and performed in The Vagina Monologues for the 2015 event and raised over $7,000 for Peace Over Violence, an organization that helps bring this awareness to larger audiences.