A Yorkshire woman says she has “lost track of the amount of times” she has cried when thinking about how she was raped, and suffers from nightmares years after it happened.
Last week, sick Vira Hussaini, 35, of Bradford, was jailed for four years at Leeds Crown Court after he raped a woman who was left with serious injuries in the terrifying attack in 2018.
Following the sentence, the woman told YorkshireLive she is now being supported by family and friends, but has suffered the effects of the attack since.
She said: “He held me down by my wrists and raped me. He tore me, causing bleeding, which led me to seek support from the health sector. I was worried about the safety of other women and built up the courage to report him to the police in August 2019…
“We all thought he would have been given a longer sentence, however we are grateful that a level of justice has been served after many years suffering in silence.”
In her victim impact statement, the woman told how she has “struggled tremendously” since the attack and said: “I feel that I have either no appetite, or spend time comfort eating. In relation to sexual health, I was worried about whether or not I had been passed a disease…Fortunately I was given the all clear.”
The woman said she has since left work and has used her savings to pay for her mortgage and bills. She added: “I feel that my emotional wellbeing has been greatly affected, as I have lost track of the amount of times that I have cried when this incident has come into my thoughts. I have also suffered with graphic sexual abuse nightmares, to the point where a close friend has heard me screaming in my sleep. I must add that I have also felt panicked at times, like I am having heart palpitations.”
In her statement, the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – said she had to have photographs taken of her genetalia and said she felt she lost her dignity during this. She said: “I feel that I have no privacy left and I am embarrassed that so many strangers from the court process are now aware of my personal matters. Sadly, the stigma of rape will always remain with me and I have to learn to continue living with that…
“I feel that my social life has been greatly affected too, as I have become more insular over the past few years. This has been due to the fact that I no longer feel confident or safe, which has left me feeling socially isolated at times. I have seen a negative impact upon my loved ones too….I have seen close and treasured family members and friends cry when taking the time to support me.”
The woman said she has accessed support, including counselling, reiki, group therapy and has also engaged with an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor since the attack. She said: “Overall, the past four-and-a-half years have been immensely stressful and taken up so much energy. It has also taken up a significant amount of time, when trying to work through this trauma.
“I makes me feel sad that he could have admitted what he did and shown both acceptance and remorse a long time ago. This would have allowed me to access justice and closure, but instead I have had to endure the criminal court process, in order to fight for justice to be served.
“It is hard to describe in full how I feel after the sexual violence that I was subject to, although I have tried my best to explain…Ultimately what I am really trying to say is, I have air in my lungs, but feel like I can’t breathe. And I have a heart that works, but feels broken. I now plan to rebuild myself and not allow this man to destroy me any further.”