06Feb

Rape victim was supported by the Women's Law Centre in her fight for justice

 

The ordeal through which a rape victim passes is hard to explain. The emotional mutilation of the victim and the lack of prompt and correct inquiries from the authorities, get many women quit. The same would have happened in the case of Anna, a young woman from Chisinau who was raped by her neighbour. Two years ago, in early 2016, Ana accompanied by her mother came to the Women's Law Centre to ask for help. It was her last hope. "It happened three weeks ago. I filed a complaint to the police, but they do not take any action. I am afraid. He continues to come to my door and knock, he is screaming and threatening me”. Ana remembers with horror the days when only two steps separate her from the aggressor. At that time, he had been coming under the pretext that the woman should return an old debt. The day she opened the door to give him money, he entered with force in the apartment and raped her. At that time Ana was three months pregnant. This did not stop Andrei from sexual assault. "He put his foot on my stomach and threatened me that he would kill my baby if I scream".

A few days after rape, she went to a doctor who said that she had a miscarriage risk and was infected with a venereal disease. Then she went to the police and filed a complaint. What has followed? No response from the authorities, only weeks of silence. The system which ought to ensure protection and provide psychological counselling services, didn’t take any action.

At WLC Ana benefited both from qualified legal services to defend her rights and from long-lasting psychological counselling. Emotional rehabilitation was an aim as important as proving the aggressor's guilt. The WLC attorney helped her submit a new complaint to the police and after a day a criminal case was initiated and the man was arrested. During the process, she was intimidated and discriminated many times. The fact that she comes from a poor family was already an "infraction", and the rape blame was considered a way of swindling money. With the support of WLC advocate, Ana had the courage to fight till the end. After two-year journey from one court to another, endless court hearings and psychological assessments, in 2017 the court issued a decision which confirmed that the aggressor is guilty of rape.