How do I write a narrative?

Write down details while still fresh

This list is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it may start you thinking about some details that are still fresh.

Type a detailed narrative

  • Type everything that happened in as much detail as you possibly can as well as whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

  • Answer the Who, What, When, Where, and How questions.

  • Consent, or lack thereof, is key in sexual assault cases.

  • Factors include turning away, saying no, pushing the perpetrator away or other similar actions that indicate lack of consent.

  • It is also important to note if you were incapacitated in any way by drugs or alcohol and to describe the use of force.

Additional details recalled

As investigations continue, additional details are often recalled. This is typical but it will be very helpful for you to try to remember as many details sooner than later. If something of significance is remembered later, it can be a distraction from the main case because questions may be raised about inconsistency.

Email the narrative to yourself

Once you have completed the narrative, send it in an email to yourself then print it. This will place an immutable time and date stamp on your story if the details are ever questioned in the future.

Social media from relevant time-frame

If a case is going to be based almost entirely on witness testimony and electronic data, you can help get the social media from the relevant time frame. The significant time-frame for review begins at the beginning of the school year.

All of your computer activity from the incident and the next day(s) is vital. Anything even remotely related will be important.

The case is strengthened if there are social media posts referring to the event, related Google searches you made about rape kits, sexual assaults, etc., and other contextual comments at or near the time of the assault. A reference could be something as small as a post on the day after the assault asking you how you are doing.