Deutsch   English   

Julia – student (25)

Julia is from a small town in Saxony and moved to Berlin a few weeks ago to live with her boyfriend. She only has a few exams left until she graduates from university. At a party in her home town, she meets a young man with whom she has a lively chat. She is not interested in more, as she is faithful to her boyfriend in Berlin. It's getting late and Julia is having a good time. Later, she remembers having noticed that this man repeatedly gestured to a friend of his; she didn't think much of it at the time.

What happened?

A few hours later, she wakes up in an unfamiliar flat, naked and covered in bruises and cuts. She leaves the place in a panic. The memory only emerges weeks later. Besides the visible injuries, she also sustained vaginal and anal tears and can only imagine what must have happened to her. She only properly comes to several hours later in her own flat.

Shame and guilt

At first Julia doesn't act. She is withdrawn, feels guilty and doesn't tell anybody about that night. She feels dirty, insecure, depressed, can't sleep and tried to forget. She doesn't think of contacting the police – after all, she blames herself for what happened.

Snatches of memory come back to her in nightmares during the following weeks. Her condition worsens. During a family visit, her parents notice the deep change in their daughter and convince her to go to the police and press charges.

Learning to live with uncertainty

The police questioning weighs heavily on her and brings her down even more. Officials in the small provincial town are overwhelmed and shun her, offering little sympathy and help. She only begins to seek support once she is back in Berlin with her boyfriend. She finds a female lawyer through a counselling centre. In counselling she learns to deal with her feelings and the uncertainty.

It's unclear whether the perpetrator(s) can be identified; and even if so, a conviction would be unlikely given the lack of solid evidence.