Sharing an email a young woman, a student, received from the Police Department.
Please note the part in block quotes. Why do you think we don’t read this more often?
I was reading your last few posts on rape and how the police reacted. That reminded me of an email I got from the police chief of my university in the US. Wonder how many years it would take for our police to react in a similar way.
“… The Police department is currently investigating a sexual assault… The victim reported she was sexually assaulted during a party. The suspect has not been identified. Anyone with information related to this incident should contact the Police Department.
The Police Department urges students to utilize some safety precautions as you plan and attend late-night events: limit attendance to friends and guests of friends, and identify reliable safety monitors who can alert police in the event something suspicious or criminal occurs.
Be aware that a seemingly nice, regular individual can turn into a rapist. There are some men who are more likely to be sexually aggressive than others.
Characteristics can include someone who:
* Does not listen to you, talks over you or pretends not to hear you.
* Ignores your personal space boundaries.
* Does what he wants, regardless of what you want.
* Expresses excessive anger or aggression towards women in general.
* Acts excessively jealous or possessive.
* Drinks heavily. Many perpetrators do not pre-meditate their indecent acts. They actually believe that the victim will enjoy it and won’t say no. Anger, embarrassment, resentment, and selfishness take over and the perpetrator arrives at “the point of no return.”
A woman cannot always prevent a rape. However, there are some things that can be done to help reduce the chances of being raped:
* Be forceful and firm. Do not worry about being polite!
* Trust your gut-level feelings. If you believe that you are being pressured, then you probably are. Leave the situation immediately; call out for help.
* If you observe suspicious or criminal activity, report it immediately to police by calling 911.
Everyone, both women and men, should know what to do if you know someone who has been sexually assaulted:
* Call someone you trust — no matter how late it is. You should not be alone. Consider calling a close friend or a staff member.
* Go to a safe place. Consider going to your room, a friend’s room, or anywhere you will feel safe.
* Seek medical treatment IMMEDIATELY. Dont wash up, change clothes, eat, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom or brush your hair, as you might destroy useful evidence. If you are unsure about reporting the assault to police, it makes sense to allow medical professionals to collect evidence to preserve the option of later making a police report.
* Report the incident to police, whether or not you plan to press charges. Reporting the assault does not commit you to filing charges. You can make that decision later in collaboration with the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
* Do NOT blame yourself. Even if you believe you were naive, not cautious enough, or even foolish, it is NOT your fault. Your behavior DID NOT cause the assault.
* Get help and support, such as counseling. A sexual assault is an extremely traumatic incident, and you will need help dealing with the situation.
* Take advantage of the resources available for victims of sexual assault or encourage their use.
Sources of support include the Office of the Dean of Students, the Women’s Center, Counseling and Psychological Services in Student Health, the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, and the Victim and Witness Assistance Programs. Students wishing to pursue charges through the University can do so through the Sexual Assault Board. For more information….
Please take all necessary steps to protect yourself and each other — and know that you should never hesitate to call 911.”
What do you think of this email by the Police?