I said he molested me, He said it was part of his job.
In May 2013, I was woken up in the middle of the night by being dragged out of my room by police officers. My ex-boyfriend had called the cops and said I had attempted suicide…all because I refused to continue our relationship.
Being a potential fifty-one-fifty meant I had to be evaluated, patted down and taken into custody (if the officer felt that I was a danger to myself).
There were no female officers present, I did not consent to the pat down, but I was told my consent didn’t matter because I was a minor and that my parents had already consented. His hands lingered a little too long, and dug into my flesh. He violated me, while other officers watched, while my father saw.
I was a minor, and had he not been in uniform, or had it not been the same situation, I believe he could have met the same fate that former officer Daniel Holtzclaw met on abuse of power towards women.
My father begged me to hold still, and to not fight back. I still refused, and the handcuffs came on. I was taken into custody, because I called him out on molesting me. He said it was his job to search me for any weapons or sign of self-injury. I was put into the police car, and taken down to the station, where I finally met a female officer. I was put into another police car and was driven to USC Medical Center for my psychiatric evaluation. On the way over, the female officer asked which of my prescribed medicines were painkillers. Had she not been a police officer, would I have been arrested, or suspended, for sharing my prescribed narcotics with her like the two teens from Garland were?
The truth is, none of my medication were painkillers; they were anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and a mild sedative. I’m not aware of which she took. We arrived at the medical center where I was admitted with bruises from the handcuffs, I was warned that if I spoke about the frisking, he would ask them to admit me to the adult ward. The officers stayed while I was admitted to the children’s ward. They let the nurse know that if I was any problem, to contact them personally.
I took a routine urine test, and a nurse examined me to take into account my possibly physical injuries. It was noted that the handcuffs were too tight.
My one night being taken into custody is possibly a daily routine for women in prison, as argued by Angela Davis in Are Prisons Obsolete?
Prisoners are repeatedly getting raped, and it’s often getting covered with a strip search or with a “routine vaginal exam” when was is not required. Sex is exchanged for favors, rewards. It’s used as punishment.
I knew I was violated, but when I went to report it, I was turned away. I was advised that as a minor I might never see justice. As Davis writes about the Human Rights Watch report
“Grievance or investigatory procedures where they exist, are often ineffectual, and correctional employees continue … because they believe they will rarely be held accountable, administratively or criminally.”
This matter was always a hush hush kind of thing. It never really caught the public’s attention. Sure, we hear about students lugging around a mattress across a college campus in protest of college rape. That catches the public’s attention because it’s in an educational institution, parents send their children off to college for an education, not sexual assault. Why is that campus not safe for a female student? “It is safe, it was just this one isolated incident. Please don’t look us up and find the many more reported incidents with our name on them.” It’s because the public doesn’t want to face the fact that their children are being sent to places where the possibility of being raped is real. But it is real, so real that it’s reported one in five females are raped their first year.
It’s estimated that fifteen percent of female prisoners are subject to sexual assault. “But that’s such a small number.” no, it’s because one in five, and fifteen percent are told in different measurements. If I were to have typed, “twenty percent of college students are raped” would that statistic shock you? or if I said “one in six prisoners are subject to rape.” it’s more real that way, being able to compare the two without doing the math in your head.
It’s a subject that’s not really spoken about, it’s often preached to deaf ears who often only think “it doesn’t apply to me, I’m not in prison.”
The subject has recently come to society’s attention. Premiering in July 2013, Orange is the New Black premiered. “Based on a true story,” the series show what a woman’s year in prison is liked. But there’s a problem with how Piper Kerman has romanticized prison life. There’s an illegal relationship between an officer and a prisoner, and another officer who constantly abuses the women.
Yes, it shows the abuse a woman might face, the fact that sex is used as a form of reward, punishment or mere amusement of a guard. But what it fails to show is the extent the officer may leave the prisoner. There is never a woman being sent to the infirmary for a torn anus, or being left in a heap of their own blood after being brutally assaulted.
Rape is a double-edged sword where only one blade is noticed. A woman being raped in public has an outcry. There are marches, protests, and rallies. But when a prisoner gets raped, it’s looked over. It’s difficult to say that an officer has raped you; it’s even more difficult to prove it.
The fact is, It’ll always be an “I said, They said” situation. Whether it be in the prison system, or out in the public eye. Because had he not been in uniform, It would have been rape. Now it’s been three years, and I wish I could go back and tell my seventeen-year-old self to pursue the matter, even if it meant him only getting a suspension, because at least I’d try.