Written by Toby Cray
TW: This article contains description of sexual violence and strong language.
Kimi* was pushed to the brink by her “fucking psycho” of an ex-boyfriend, who would not leave her alone after raping her. One day, she felt so low that she drank an entire bottle of vodka and sat down by a river, thinking “about whether or not I wanted to die.”
Kimi had met Christopher* on her course, initially the relationship went well, but it did not take long before it became a game of cat of mouse, “everything he did was calculated to hurt.” He was obsessive, controlling, and jealous, everywhere she went he had to come as well, if she applied for a job, so did he, “it felt like trying to get away from an octopus.”
On a cold winter’s night, after dating for several months, they went out to a pub. Everything seemed normal until she went to the bathroom. When she came back, Christopher’s demeanour had completely changed. He started acting like “an enormous, unbearable dick.”
They went back to his house, as it was closest, but Kimi just wanted to leave. Unusually Kimi did not own a phone and the bus came only once every hour, so she was completely reliant on him for time. She was trapped.
Christopher started pestering her for sex, even threatening to hurt himself if she refused.
“In the end, I did agree to do some stuff with him, which I absolutely did not want to do, and he knew I didn’t want to do. There was something that he wanted to do that I explicitly said I did not want him to do, he knew it would hurt me.”
Despite this, “he went ahead and did it anyway. It was fucking awful, and I just went limp.”
Isolated from her friends by Christopher, and feeling unable to tell her family, Kimi had no one to turn to afterwards.
Christopher immediately went on the defensive, initially claiming that he was too drunk at the time to be responsible for his behaviour. He then convinced his friends that she was a “crazy lying bitch […] so they wouldn’t give a shit,” even though she had not yet told anyone about being raped.
He kept up the psychological pressure over several months, telling her that she was the abusive one, that she was going mad, and that no one else would put up with her.
Kimi started to question her sanity, which helped prolong the relationship, despite her efforts to break up with him.
When she did eventually manage to break up with him, he insisted on staying friends, which Kimi agreed to, as she was fearful of “what he might do if he saw me as an enemy.”
This left Kimi constantly paranoid about when and where he would turn up. If she saw anyone who had the same bag as Christopher, or looked like Christopher, she would “freak out and have to check that it wasn’t him.”
He threatened to commit suicide and faked multiple ‘medical emergencies’, which even led to ambulances being called, just to try and get Kimi’s attention.
Placed under this immense stress, and still dealing with the initial trauma, Kimi’s hair started to fall out. “By the time I completely cut off contact, I had lost half my hair.”
With Kimi’s mental well-being deteriorating from the constant harassment, she now felt forced to report the rape to the university.
Kimi was now at the point where “the sight of him was making me panic”, this made her module that she shared with him particularly problematic, especially as it was only a small group.
However, even after reporting the rape, the university said they could only do something if the investigation found in her favour.
This left her with a choice of spending “several hours a week sitting a few feet away from my rapist in a very small room, or to not attend the class.”
This resulted in her receiving her lowest ever mark in this module.
The person who initially oversaw the investigation disappeared after a few months, leaving Kimi’s emails unanswered. Nobody thought to tell Kimi. And she felt the university were not only useless, but “it sometimes felt malicious how bad they were.
“I honestly think that nobody [at the university] gave a shit, and they essentially empowered him to assault people as he wishes”, because “there will be no consequences.”
Throughout the 10-month long investigation, Christopher continued to harass her, but the university did nothing.
The university “did nothing to protect me…at no point did they give a fuck.”
The investigation by the university came to nothing, with Kimi recalling that the second investigator struggled to even interview Christopher due to the pandemic.
The university stated: “Whilst we cannot comment on individual cases, the University of Leicester has made it clear that any form of sexual harassment or violence is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated here.
“Every allegation is taken extremely seriously and investigated, and students or staff affected will be supported and helped if they have experienced such behaviour.”
This was Kimi’s first relationship, and she did not realise “at the time how abusive it was, but it really screwed me up.”
Now in a much happier and healthier relationship, Kimi can see a future of sorts. However, she said “I still think about it every single day, multiple times, and the feeling of injustice from the university has made it worse, as he is going to keep doing this.”
*Names have been changed
This feature is part of an on-going investigation into sexual assault at the University of Leicester. If you have would like to share your story with us as well, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity is offered.
Toby Cray is a second-year journalism student at the University of Leicester. You can find him on Instagram here: @toby5.c