She came forward for the money and the fame.
Of all the reasons I have heard of people blaming assault victims for coming forward, the one that shocks me the most is that people seem to think that assault survivors come forward for the money and fame. Really? Like, really?
Now my rapist isn’t famous, and I don’t know about his financial status, but I can promise you that I didn’t come forward to tell my story to get money or notoriety. If anything, I was scared that by coming forward I would hurt my career opportunities and potentially alienate friends and family. I came forward to help others and to help myself heal.
Now you may be thinking, “well, your rapist isn’t popular so it doesn’t really matter if you came forward. It’s not that big of a deal”.
Well, to me it is a huge deal and one that has cost me ten’s of thousands of dollars over the past five years.
So, let’s see in rough estimates how much I have lost financially because of being sexually assaulted.
Let me break it down for you.
|EXPENSE||MY COST WITH INS.||COST IF I DIDN’T HAVE INSURANCE|
| Follow-up bloodwork for 1 year to |
test for STI’s
|Initial medication following assault (treatment for HIV potential)||$500||$2,400|
|Chiropractor (I was seeing one a little before, so I’ll claim half of the expenses)||$1,000||$2,300|
|Therapist in DC||$3,900||$12,950|
|Follow-Up Doctor Appt’s||$700||$1,200|
|Therapist at home||$600||$1,200|
|Acupuncture for depression/anxiety/PTSD||$1,000||Insurance did not cover|
|Surgery to determine cancer diagnosis||$2,600||$9,000|
Why did I differentiate between my actual cost with insurance and if I didn’t have insurance? To prove that if you do not have good insurance or any insurance (I had excellent insurance), reporting & following up on being assaulted is expensive and this may prohibit people from coming forward. Fortunately, I had a good job, an understanding employer and great health insurance.
I also forgot to mention that when I was in the ER for my rape kit the cost was $2,700. Fortunately, the Commonwealth of Virginia has a program that covers the kit and all the testing. Thank you, Virginia. Again, not every state has this benefit and I was fortunate.
Since it was my choice to move back to my home state, I will break these numbers out separately. I no longer felt safe both physically and mentally in Washington, DC so for me the only option was to move away. If I hadn’t been assaulted, I wouldn’t have been moving.
|Breaking Apartment Lease||$5,200|
|Additional Airfare flying back & forth coordinating moving & also sister flying out to be at sentencing||$1,300|
|Mileage/Subway/Parking charges going to appointments/hearings/meetings||$500|
Let’s see, what else:
-Had to invade my retirement account to pay bills
-Family spent $1,000 (at least) on airfare to come for trials that never happened, or to come and take care of me when I wasn’t doing well.
-Unemployed for 1 year – I picked up a couple consulting gigs, but that was nowhere near my annual salary as an executive.
-The company I worked for lost money and relationships because I couldn’t perform my executive job because of depression/anxiety/PTSD.
-Drained my savings account
-Ran up my credit cards
So, when you add up just the costs I’m telling you about (without my loss of salary or retirement withdrawal), I have spent over $31,000 because of my assault.
I did receive some compensation from a victim’s fund in Virginia. I spent countless hours putting together receipts, EOB’s, making phone calls, etc. I received $2,600 and am extremely grateful for that. I could have been reimbursed for my initial medication immediately after my assault, but I didn’t keep the receipt and waited too long to get it from the pharmacy. Word to the wise- save your receipts if you find yourself in a criminal situation.
Looking into the future, I will need to continue to be monitored for cervical cancer and will hopefully have good insurance to help with that. I’m sure I will also need to see a therapist for the rest of my life, so there is that cost. The cost of an assault is a lifelong endeavor.
While I am gainfully employed in a great career now, I’m going to be playing catch up from the past five years for quite some time. I’m now rebuilding my savings and paying off debt so that I can someday get out of my parents basement.
So for those of you still wondering, I did it for the money.