A man who was accused of rape before the allegation was later dropped has said he has been left ‘an empty shell’ of a person.
Curtis Gibbins, 24, has described the moment his life completely changed when he was told by police that he had been accused of rape.
‘In February this year, I had a call from the police to say that someone had said I raped them. I was out with my friends at the time and it put a massive downer on the night, I felt like nothing.
Curtis Gibbins was accused of rape before the allegation was later dropped, and the 24-year-old has said he feels ‘afraid’ to go through the city centre alone
‘Something about it just scared me. All that was going through my head was why would someone do this,’ he said.
The 24-year-old, from Port Tennant in Swansea, was never arrested or charged and the woman later retracted her statement.
‘When the allegations were dropped it was a massive relief, but it was more of a shock. It made me think ‘why did she do this’. I’ve still got this burden that other people still believe that I’ve done it.’
Mr Gibbins said: ‘When the allegations were dropped it was a massive relief, but it was more of a shock. It made me think ‘why did she do this’. I’ve still got this burden that other people still believe that I’ve done it’
Mr Gibbins said he lost his best friend because of the allegation. ‘I was accused of something so horrific and horrible, it’s life changing. I’ve lost a lot of friends, I’ve even lost my best friend that I’ve known for 12 years.
‘I’ve lost many people in my life because of this and only my true friends have stuck by my side. I thank them all for that. I suffer with depression and anxiety but this has pushed me over the edge, I was feeling suicidal. I’m not saying I’m perfect but I’m a nice person and I get on with a lot of people,’ he said.
Mr Gibbins said he used to be outgoing and he loved going out and socialising, but he’s now ‘an empty shell’:
‘I was always out with my friends doing something but now I’m an empty shell. I loved going out and having a drink with friends, but now I don’t do anything, I just sit in the house. I don’t even talk to my parents or grandparents much – it’s very rare I visit my grandparents and that’s not fair on them.’
Mr Gibbins claims he has received threats and said this is why he doesn’t like leaving his home.
He said: ‘I’m still afraid to walk through the city centre on my own and I don’t like catching buses, it’s a massive negative feeling towards me now.
The 24-year-old says he is grateful for the friends who stuck by him: ‘I’ve lost many people in my life because of this and only my true friends have stuck by my side. I thank them all for that’
‘My friends ask me to go out but I’m very isolated, I’ve got this constant fear on my back that I’m going to run into someone and something is going to be said.
‘I’m worried because some people still think that the allegations are true.’
He added: ‘I’ve lost my job and my self-esteem has gone down. I also can’t talk to women anymore.
‘I can’t do the things that I enjoyed doing, I’ve isolated myself, it’s not healthy. I’m going to therapy sessions weekly to help with my anxiety and depression.
‘I’m trying to get out but I won’t walk anywhere, I won’t be alone. I will only go to friends’ houses if it is outside of Swansea and I get a lift there.’
But Mr Gibbins said he doesn’t want his story to stop people from reporting rape or sexual abuse.
Mr Gibbins added that he did not want his story to put other rape victims off speaking out
‘I don’t want people who have been raped to feel as if they can’t speak out. If you are someone who has been affected by rape or sexual abuse then don’t keep it locked up, please speak to someone about it.’
In reference to the allegation made about Mr Gibbins, a spokesman for South Wales Police said: ‘An allegation of sexual assault was withdrawn by the reporting person and the matter has now been finalised.’
If you are affected by rape or sexual abuse, there are organisations where you can get support and advice.
Rape Crisis England & Wales is one of the many national organisations offering support and counselling for those affected by rape and sexual abuse.
The helpline is on 0808 802 9999 (12pm-2.30pm and 7pm-9.30pm) or see rapecrisis.org.uk.
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