2.04.2008

the police state

There's an extremely disturbing video of what happened to a woman in police custody in Ohio, here at Raw Story. I don't want to post the video, and you may not want to watch it if you're a sexual assault survivor. But it's something people should see, so I'm posting the link.

Police picked up Hope Steffey after a 911 call about an assault; Steffey was the victim.

Next time you hear someone say, "If she was really raped, why didn't she call the police?", think of this.

Raw Story, via Crooks and Liars, via Redsock.

10 comments:

MSEH said...

Given the context, that's pretty much one of the most disturbing things I've seen, and I'm not naive. I hope she gets a billion f'in dollars from the county.

L-girl said...

MSEH, I know. It's horrific.

James said...

She's lucky there was video, or she'd have almost no hope of a favourable judgment.

L-girl said...

Yes, anyone would think she was surely exaggerating. But no.

I wonder, did they tape it for the same reason the US soldiers photographed Abu Ghraib?

Amy said...

I watched this earlier, and I was so shocked, horrified, that I could not even bring myself to comment. I still am. The video, and the resulting horror, are self-explanatory. I cannot see any basis by which the police will be able to justify this assault on that woman.

impudent strumpet said...

Read the article, didn't watch the video. The question I'm left with is what do I do to prevent the police from doing this to me when I'm raped?

L-girl said...

One of the many disturbing things about this is that I can see no way that she could have prevented it. She did nothing to bring it on, and could do nothing to stop it.

Hence, sexual assault.

impudent strumpet said...

Nonono, i'm not saying she did anything to bring it on or should have done anything to stop it. It's just that since the age of about 11 I've been thinking about what I could do if I were raped, and I've come up with a wide variety of plans of various degrees of foolishness for a wide variety of situations of various degrees of likelihood. I've also been thinking most of my adult life about what I could do if I were subject to police brutality, and I don't have nearly as many plans but there are a few. And all of that's out the window if I'm going to have to deal with both problems at once. Years and years of mental flowcharts are now useless. I feel like the graviational constant of the universe has changed and I have to launch a space shuttle tomorrow. The new factor in the equation is "What if I'm safer with the rapist than with the police?" which is like dividing by zero.

L-girl said...

Nonono, i'm not saying she did anything to bring it on or should have done anything to stop it.

I totally knew you weren't saying that. I apologize if my comment sounded like I was slapping you back for saying such a thing. I know you wouldn't.

And all of that's out the window if I'm going to have to deal with both problems at once.

Right. It's a horrifying prospect. Too horrifying to work out a plan for.

Most cops in the US - I can't speak for anywhere else - have had special training in dealing with sexual assault victims, thanks to the women's movement. There's been a huge improvement in the way cops treat victims.

This tends to break down if the victim is a sex worker or substance abuser (as if those cannot be raped), but if the victim is someone the cops recognize as a "good victim", generally it's gotten much much better.

This video blows that generality all to hell.

Cornelia said...

For luck, I don't watch the video or read horrid stories - for it would freak me out and it's up to me what to watch and to read in my free time and I still regret the awful stuff I had to read at school and the lack of being careful when I read stories about honor murder but at least, the video is EVIDENCE. I wonder how dumb some violent felon criminals are that they keep records of their own crimes on tape and thereby create evidence against themselves. Not only rape and child and forced pornography participation and Abu Ghraib, also on the school yard. The latter of course is good, for it takes prove in court. Once I got some commercials about a sex movie and they claimed it was under duress. I told a friend of mine from the police and asked if he could find somebody to check whether it has really been under duress aka rape so that if it's really that, we might be able to do something against these offenders at least if a woman later reports them if one can't find where they are based and he said sure, they don't mind much. Then he had a look himself and told me there were no hints for rape or forced prostitution or participation and other than announced it was older women who worked in the sex job professionally not the announced assaulted teeny girls and they had wrote the email-commercial in a way as to attract sexist readers.
I will also be giving a talk on possibilities of prevention of honor murder at the police. The officer who is in charge of the seminar asked me whether I had read the stories of survivors out of the context and I said, yes, unfortunately, for it was absolutely dreadful and I prefer to focus on the solutions not the problems because it's less unpleasant. He said okay but it's no problem if I slip it in, too the audience is all officers who deal with murder cases and have seen many a dead body and many a place of crime so I needn't worry about that, they can stand something and won't get freaked out or too bothered!
Re: Kongo, I have heard that it's large scale and extremely heinous and so dreadful (Darfur, too)- ugh!!! I think Medica Mondiale (google them, if you like, they are based in Germany but have an English website, too) support relief projects for women down there.