I don’t know anything about you. I don’t know your background, your personality, your hopes and dreams and fears. I don’t even know what you went through, as the label of “rape” is now applied to a vast range of events – all horrid, all inexcusable, but all the same very different. I don’t know you. Maybe I never will.
To the police and medical staff you’re a patient, a victim, a case, but ultimately a number. Whilst the individuals may care about you, the system mostly cares about what boxes your case will tick. Will you be one of the many cases that never get reported to the authorities (1)? Will your case be reported but not prosecuted? Will they be able to secure a conviction? Will you pass right through the medical system, or will you be back time and time again, requiring long-term care? What resources will you require? How much will you cost us or gain us? The system will eat your individuality and turn you into a statistic.
These people are toxic, but thankfully they are incredibly rare. They are so rare, in fact, that every time one of them opens their rotten mouths it seems to make the news. They shock and astonish us precisely because their position, though it's claimed to be endemic, goes completely against what the vast majority of people hold true.
Some people lack that uncertainty. Confident and vocal, guided by their mission, they demand the right to defend you. They see you as a blameless victim of a dreadful violation, whose victimhood should be exalted and protected. They want to slay the beast that hurt you (not the person, but the crime), to eradicate it from the world forever. They claim to care for you, to be fighting on your behalf, but they are telling a half-truth. You are not their priority: the priority is the cause, the epic crusade that they have embarked upon. And in order to show how important the crusade is, it needs victims. It needs people who were hurt, are hurting and will keep hurting. These people need to be able to hold you up to the world as a demonstration of how terrible rape is, of the inescapability and depth of the scars it leaves behind, of the lives it destroys forever. To them you are the living proof of the magnitude of their cause. You are not a person: you are a martyr, a sacrifice, a bleeding symbol for their cause - and they will keep you bleeding.
We cannot tell you any of this, though all or some of it may help you, because that’s not what’s important. None of this is about making you feel better. It isn’t about teaching you how to cope or heal or grow. This monopoly on rape is about slaying the monster. And the fight needs all the fighters it can get, and in order to gain troops it needs victims; suffering, broken victims who, by never getting better, can be turned into martyrs. And now you’re one of them.
(1) If you don't report, don't think you won't make the numbers. You will still be used, in a very particular way, but that's a pretty complicated stand-alone subject, enough so it deserves its own blog.