A BRAVE woman who is a ‘survivor’ of rape will have her hair shaved off in the middle of High Wycombe to raise money for Rape Crisis.
Jennifer Drewett’s long locks will be shaved off in Frogmoor on June 26 to raise money for the charity; with the hair itself being donated to the Little Princess Trust to be transformed into wigs for children who lose their hair during cancer treatment.
The High Wycombe resident told the BFP she fell pregnant after she was date raped about four years ago. She lost the baby after suffering a miscarriage.
The receptionist said chopping off her hair marked her rebirth and would also highlight the work of Rape Crisis and attitudes towards rape.
She said: “I thought something radical had to be done and cutting your hair off is major statement and, for me, it’s a cleansing.
“I’m trying to get on with my life and I hope to show others that they can get on with their lives. It is brutal and tough, but you can come through it - it gets a little easier with time.
“People say ‘a victim of rape’, I prefer the word survivor because we have survived this and have persevered. It’s quite helpful for me as I feel I can take control of my life and feel stronger.”
The 24-year-old said it took her more than a year to build up the courage to tell her family and the police – who arrested a man but the Crown Prosecution Service could not prosecute due to a lack of evidence.
She said: “I was devastated, even though I expected [the man to get off], it was really awful – I felt like I was a liar, that I was wasting my time.
“I didn’t get any advice of where to go, what support was available to me – other than from my amazing family.
“I was struggling to sleep, having nightmares, having difficulties to trust people, all sorts of things typical of people that go through these things.
“But it’s difficult to tell people, especially when there’s such a stigma, such as people saying a woman dressed in a short skirt ‘deserves it’ and all these conceptions of survivors saying they don’t do this or that.
“I thought there was to be something done, people have to realise there’s a problem which needs to be solved – rape is never OK.”
Ms Drewett, who is originally from Filton near Bristol, has been writing a blog in the build up to the stunt and she has been “amazed” by the response it has received.
She has raised more than £500 and hopes to break the £1000 mark before the June 26 stunt.
She added: “There are some great organisations out there but Rape Crisis is incredible, it’s a great group, the women are wonderful and the volunteers have been rigorously trained – if you need support, go to them. They focus on what you need and tailor the support accordingly.”
Alternatively visit www.rapecrisis.org.uk for more information about the charity.