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Police in No Rush to Respond to Reports of Rape

Police in No Rush to Respond to Reports of Rape

At this point, we don’t need any additional clues to know that rape culture is thriving in America, but just in case you wanted more bad news: police response times to rape cases have gone from bad to worse. In some instances, victims are left waiting for hours for an officer to respond, reports ThinkProgress.

According to officials in Denver, one of the cities criticized for its lag time in addressing rape calls, the blame lands on a lack of funding. As police budgets are continually cut resulting in a smaller police force, there are fewer officers available to respond.

Putting rape victims on the backburner is quite literally a matter of priorities. Police manpower is first awarded to the most life threatening situations or crimes currently in action. Since most rape victims can only report the felony after the fact, they automatically become a lower priority.

Rape investigations are a long enough process even when the police respond promptly. Official hospital examinations require about three to four hours, so keeping the victims waiting an additional couple hours for a cop to appear just so that can start can be trying for someone who has just been through a traumatic experience. In many precincts, a rape exam cannot be administrated until after an officer has questioned the victim.

The wait time is enough to discourage some victims from following through with the process. Denver officials acknowledge that a woman who was left waiting at the hospital for more than two hours after reporting rape finally just left, believing that the authorities did not take her claim seriously.

It’s an even more pitiful state of affairs when you factor in that only a small fraction of victims report rape in the first place. Those who are brave enough to hold their rapists responsible for the assault should not be dissuaded from doing just that – either implicitly or explicitly.

Washington D.C. has faced similar criticisms for the way its police force handles rape cases. After Human Rights Watch found that 170 rape reports had disappeared or were “misfiled” and then not investigated, a panel was formed to address the problems. The panel recommended that an advocate be present during interviews of rape victims and that an expert be trained to oversee sexual assault cases.

Denver, meanwhile, instituted new policies of its own to tackle criticisms against its force. After 90 minutes of no response to a rape call, supervisors are required to send a cop as soon as possible – which still seems like a slow process. One “improvement” that may actually help, however, is that officers are authorized to give a verbal approval to the hospital staff to begin the rape examination before questioning so that the victim isn’t left waiting around for hours.

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119 comments

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11:46AM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

the worst part is i'm not that surprised

11:52PM PDT on Sep 21, 2013

It's Bad enough to be Raped,endure a exam at the hospital,be questioned about it ,relive it in your NIGHTMARES and be Treated less then Human ! When will We as Humans treat RAPE as the Vicious Crime it is ! No one deserves this kind of Torture and Abuse,unless they are the Rapist ! First and foremost ,the CARE,TREATMENT and Concern of the Victim should be taken care of,then the report,by someone who has COMPASSION! Not All cops give a shit ! They even Blame the Victim ! What a SICK world we live in ! :(

6:14PM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

ty

11:33AM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

I bet it will be a priority if the rape was the political important figures, like a judge's daughter, an officer's wife or better yet - a governor's sister etc....Every family has a combination of male and female relative. Why women being ranked second? Sounds more like a third world to me!!!!

4:04AM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

Where's gender equality?

1:26AM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

There is just no way to justify that kind of response time. This is pathetic!

11:03PM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

What a sad world we live in.

4:16PM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

When males who rape women are raped maybe female and child rape will be taken seriously. Even those in law enforcement, the judicial system including DA's, judges, law makers and those who cover up rape, look the other way when rapes occur, should experience rape as well as the rapists also. Throw them all in lockup with a bunch of vile vicious violent deviant 'Booty Bandits' then they'll understand just what the victims endure. This may seem extreme to many of you but the "Crime of Rape is Extreme"!

4:03PM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

Women of all ages and children of both sexes have 'no' value in this country and most of the world. When it comes to violence against women and children including sex crimes and death it's even less value if that's possible and it is. Women of all ages and those males who do value them and their offspring of both sexes must make this issue at top priority by standing up and fighting for their rights to justice, safety and all that goes with them being equally valued members of this planet. "WITHOUT WOMEN/FEMALES the Race of Beings known as HUMANS would CEASE to EXIST".

12:03PM PDT on Sep 19, 2013

Sadly, rape has never been a "priority" crime to law enforcement in the U.S.

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