I didn't call it rape straight away. In fact I have only been able to actually say the word rape for about a month. I wasn't sure if I had been raped. To put it bluntly I woke up naked and sore next to my friends flat mate with no memory of what had actually happened (I now suspect he spiked my drink). Physically I knew what had happened but mentally I didn't, my mind kept telling me that nothing had happened, that I didn't consent to it or want it or remember it so how could it have happened?
When I told my GP what had happened she asked me if I thought I had been raped and I was really shocked that she said it... I don't know why, as when I look back on it now I realise that that was what it was. I told her that I couldn't remember what had happened and so it was possible that I gave consent. She didn't refer me for counselling, for sexual health screening, anything.... she looked at me like I was crazy and suggested that I perhaps talk to someone at uni about it!
I referred myself to the uni counselling service thinking that they too would think I was crazy but that they could perhaps do something about it. They were really good about everything. My counsellor gave me information about drink spiking and he told me that there was no doubt in his mind that that was what had happened. In the end I was referred to my local rape crisis centre and for the screening after finally accepting that I probably had been raped.
So to answer your question, I think I would have recieved help alot quicker if I had just called it rape from the start, if I had just accepted it from the start instead of being in denial... But it is so difficult to accept sometimes and even now I doubt myself
. I'm confusing myself now, I'm not even sure if that makes any sense? Sorry if it doesn't