In fact, I’d love to live in a world where I felt like I could trust police officers. But this doesn’t seem to be that world.
Seven state troopers in New Jersey have been suspended with pay after they were accused of sexually assaulting a university student.
A 25-year-old student of Rider University has said that she was raped by “multiple male individuals, including one or more members of the New State Police” at a home in Ewing Township on December 7. The woman, who remains unidentified, said she met the off-duty troopers at the Kat Man Du nightclub in Trenton Thursday night, a few hours before the rape took place.
The home where the alleged assault occurred is owned by an 8-year veteran state trooper, according to CBS News.
I’m incredibly outraged about the rape, but also extremely sad that a story about police officers raping women doesn’t surprise me.
It has reminded me of a story about a friend. Unlike myself, she does openly and unashamedly dislike and refuse to trust cops. Once, when she was around 17 or 18, she was driving on the thruway in a snow storm when her car broke down. She called for help, but before it came a police officer pulled over to see if she needed assistance. Since she had no heat in her car and it was fucking freezing, the young officer, who was apparently by himself, told her that she could come sit in the police car while she waited for the tow truck. She refused. I remember her telling me “he looked really nice, but we were on a deserted road in the middle of a snow storm. He could have raped and killed me and no one would ever know.”
This was several years ago, and at the time I understood her point but still thought that she was over-reacting a bit. I was reflecting on the story recently, though, and the first thought that came to my mind was “good for her.” Once I realized it, it made me incredibly sad and angry. Because it was good for her. She asserted herself in a situation where most wouldn’t. She did what she felt was right to keep herself safe without caring about all of those things that us women are taught to care about more than our own safety, like hurting people’s feelings and being perceived as, well, over-reacting. But isn’t it a sad and fucked up world where refusing help from a police officer because you’re afraid of him raping you is seen as the right course of action?
What caused my opinion to change from four or five years ago? Well, there’s feminism and now being aware of all the stuff I said above — that women are trained to be nice and do what is expected of them even when they sense danger, and this was probably where my original reaction was coming from. There’s also the fact that I’ve since read a million fucking stories like this about police officers raping and otherwise abusing women (particularly women of color), and more often than not, getting away with it.
Anyway, if that’s not enough fucked up rape stories for one day, this blurb just might do it for you. That’s just what it is, a blurb, found in the Times. I couldn’t even bring myself to do the searches required to find out more details.
Two boys ages 11 and 14 have been charged with trying to rape a 60-year-old woman in her Austin home. The boys wore bandanas when they broke through a window in July, and one tried to sexually assault the woman but stopped when her heart device was set off, the police said. They were charged with burglary with intent to commit sexual assault. Detective Scott Stanfield said the attack was deemed premeditated because the boys had a “rape kit” that included items to restrain the victim.
This is the point at which I’m supposed to say something smart and/or witty about rape culture. Instead, I think that I’m going to go eat some ice cream, have a drink and stare at the TV for a while tonight until the depression subsides.