I put the “another” in there, even though I’ve not yet addressed this issue explicitly, because I feel like obviously this is only one of several really fucking big holes in the prevailing-wisdom “OMGWOMENCRYRAPEALLTHETIME, we should never take a rape allegation seriously” bullshit.
But, here’s a problem with that, and also an update, all rolled into one happy little package.
Especially on Reddit, where I spend a decent amount of time, there seems to be this fucking weird notion that the second the words “he raped me” leave a woman’s mouth, the entire county’s fleet of cops descends on the alleged perpetrator like a pack of hounds set loose on a fox. The man is dragged away in handcuffs, thrown into jail, reputation tarnished, life ruined FOREVARRRRR.
This is pretty much exactly what does not happen.
The statistics are out there: of reported rapes, a pathetically small fraction of perpetrators ever see the inside of a jail cell, or anything more than a slap on the wrist.
Thing is, that’s of the reported rapes that even get followed up on.
How about my case? Looking back on my archives, we can see that I went to the police oh, say, about two months ago. The officer who took my initial report was polite and professional, which I appreciated, and assured me that a detective would be getting in contact with me Within The Next Few Days to take a full report.
I heard nothing from anyone until about two weeks ago, when a woman with a very heavy accent called from the police department (I didn’t hear the specifics because I could barely understand her, and it seemed as though that was mutual…curse my habit of mumbling) and asked if I needed to be Connected With Resources In The Community. I said no, and I hung up, and I sat there angry and confused.
See, apparently, despite the fact that my rapist is currently out on $10,000 bail for a non-sexual violent crime and Use Of Controlled Substances, despite the fact that he has assaulted other women, despite the fact that there was enough evidence to get him expelled from his college, despite the fact that he was still at large, and despite the fact that he is clearly extremely mentally unstable and a danger to the community, law enforcement still did not see fit to follow up in any way on my report, or even make it official.
I wish I could somehow convey through here, without the excessive use of bold and caps lock, how incredibly, inconsolably angry I am over all this.
I am angry that my college is allowing my friend’s rapist to come back next year, and requiring that he only Write A Paper About Why Rape Is Bad in order to do so.
I am angry that Dean J tried to pull some fucking gaslighting on me by saying that the way he acted toward me – which I confirmed, before confronting him, with other members of camping living who were present at the time – was Not The Way He Remembered It Happening and Not True.
I am angry that, somewhere along the line of the interviews and preparation for an article that never appeared in the paper, I and other victims were lied to.
I am angry that there is not information about my school’s sexual misconduct policy easily available or accessible.
That is also why my posting has been so infrequent recently. Not only because it’s almost finals week, but because I have been going to endless meetings and interviews and trying, goddamnit, trying to get something changed around here for the sake of everyone who will be raped here in the future. Because it happens, because it will happen, because so few people seem to care about stopping it from happening.