While there isn’t a great deal of research on the statistics regarding instances of police sexual misconduct, the initial reports are disturbing. CNN reports that charges of forcible rape against police officers totaled over 400 instances between 2005 and 2013 according to Bowling Green State University’s database. CNN further reports that the database found over 600 instances of charges of forcible fondling against police officers. In fact, because there aren’t statistics available from the government regarding this type of police misconduct, CNN reports that researchers often rely on media reports of charges being filed against police officers to document known cases.
If you have been a victim of police sexual misconduct, it can be tough to know where to turn. When your rapist is a police officer, who do you call? The police? Unfortunately, many victims of police sexual misconduct fail to report their crimes. They may be afraid to speak up and may genuinely not know who they can trust. The idea of calling the police when the police are your harassers can be intimidating and scary. The Law Offices of Oscar Syger are police excessive force lawyers who may be able to assist you if you have been a victim of police sexual misconduct in Boca Raton, Florida. Our firm can review the details of your case, review the damages you may have suffered (including psychological trauma), and we may be able to fight to help you seek damages for your losses and injuries. Reporting police sexual misconduct can require immense courage. You don’t have to do it alone.
Where Police Sexual Misconduct Takes Place
What are some instances where police sexual misconduct might take place? While police sexual misconduct can occur in a range of settings, here are some instances where misconduct can take place. These settings include:
- During traffic stops
- During drug arrests
- During police interactions with the general public
- During police shadowing programs
- During situations where people are police informants
- During incarceration
These are just some of the instances where victims can suffer police violence and sexual misconduct. Researchers investigating police misconduct found that in many cases, police officers abused their power in order to take sexual advantage of victims. In some cases, officers may have offered victims a quid pro quo, where they exchanged “letting the victim off the hook for a crime” in exchange for sexual favors. This is against the law. In other cases, individuals may not have been aware of their rights, may have been wrongfully charged with crimes, and may not have been aware that they were being forcibly detained. Unfortunately, many of the cases researched found that approximately half of the cases of police misconduct involved minors. Young Latina, black, and Asian women were found to be more often targeted by police. These young women were also vulnerable when participating in police shadowing programs and in community engagement programs.
Women involved in prostitution, women who have addiction issues, or women who are trying to leave abusive relationships were also identified as vulnerable. There were instances where officers responded to calls from police where women were being abused, and where officers used the call to try to solicit dates or sexual favors from these women. When researchers looked at officers’ records, many of the violators were repeat offenders. Because data is scant and penalties are rare, and because many victims don’t report these crimes, officers sometimes get away with these crimes.
The Law Offices of Oscar Syger are police sexual misconduct lawyers in Boca Raton, Florida who work hard to hold officers accountable when they violate public trust. If you have been sexually harassed or assaulted by a police officer, you might be frightened and not know where to turn. The Law Offices of Oscar Syger may be able to help you navigate the process of seeking damages from precincts, municipalities, and from police officers themselves who violated your rights.
Don’t be Intimidated
There are many reports of police intimidating victims against coming forward, threatening them with arrest for crimes they may or may have not committed. In other cases, there have been instances where police departments engaged in a coordinated effort to cover up evidence and prevent women from getting rape kits or going to the doctor. If you have been raped, sexually assaulted, or touched inappropriately by a police officer, time may be of the essence. Consider seeking medical attention right away. Reach out to RAINN, the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, where experts can connect you with support in the community that may be able to help you. Reach out to the Law Offices of Oscar Syger, a Boca Raton, Florida police brutality lawyer who may also be able to assist you with making a claim for damages that can help you pay for medical treatment or the help you may need. Finally, USAttorneys.com may also be able to connect you with a police brutality lawyer near you who may be able to help you with your case.