Somewhere Safe to Sleep

Somewhere Safe to Sleep

As part of our partnership with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, our advocates talk to survivors every day about our services and other resources in the community. Recently, a sexual assault police report came across an advocate’s desk and we reached out to the victim, Chelsea, to offer services. As it turned out, Chelsea’s story was more complex than the report indicated.

Chelsea and her boyfriend lived together in her apartment. One day he told Chelsea that his brother was going to live with them. Chelsea was not happy about this and told him that she did not want a stranger living in her home. But the boyfriend insisted that all would be fine because it was his brother and it was important to help family. While Chelsea continued to protest, in the end she agreed if this would make her boyfriend happy so she said “yes.”

One afternoon, Chelsea was sleeping while her boyfriend was out of the house. Chelsea was awakened by her boyfriend’s brother assaulting her. Chelsea yelled for him to get off her and told him “no” many times but Chelsea’s pleas for help didn’t stop him and he raped her. Chelsea was traumatized and scared. She knew she had to call the police. She made a police report and went to a local hospital to complete a sexual assault exam kit.

A Center advocate spoke to Chelsea a few days after the assault and learned that Chelsea’s boyfriend had moved out. Chelsea explained that she needed emotional support and assistance to process what had happened to her. During this conversation, the advocate learned that Chelsea had been sleeping on the floor since the assault. As she explained, “I can’t sleep in the same bed he raped me in.” The advocate asked her if it would help her to have a new mattress and Chelsea indicated that it would but she didn’t have the money to buy one now that her boyfriend had left their home. Chelsea’s advocate was able to access client assistance funds to purchase a new mattress for her – a purchase that was complete with delivery and removal of her previous mattress.

Chelsea was overcome when she picked up the check for the mattress and said that she never thought this would be something The Julian Center would be able to help her with. She is now sleeping soundly in her new bed, working with a therapist to recover from her trauma and cooperating fully with the prosecution of the man who raped her. She continues to work full-time and maintains her own household without assistance from her ex-boyfriend, and while there is healing still to come, Chelsea is on her way to a full recovery.

July 13, 2017