Answering questions on Quora about domestic violence, dealing with cops, and the criminal courts in New York City is a coping mechanism for me. It helps me process the trauma in a more productive way, instead of engaging in vices like drugs, which I’ve openly been known to do.
A lot of my posts so far have recounted awfully negative and horrifying experiences with police officers (for the record, detectives are also police officers). The negativity of these encounters with The Law were multiplied hundredfold because they occurred after I’d come forward as a victim of intimate partner violence.
But alas — the world is nuanced, and in every profession, there are good and bad apples.
Today, I want to talk about The Good: the best police officer I ever dealt with. One who believed and supported me, from both a legal and psychological standpoint.
I met this police officer during one of my first visits to the Manhattan Family Justice Center, a walk-in center in New York City offering “free and confidential assistance for victims and survivors of domestic and gender-based violence.”
She took down my initial report, and patiently answered questions as I wavered back and forth.
She validated my experiences of emotional abuse and violence.
For all intents and purposes, she saved my life. I wouldn’t have the voice I have today, if it weren’t for her aid and actions.
I wrote a detailed answer about my positive experience with her on Quora, which I’m sharing below. Know that there are good ones out there.
Teasers / Previews:
On taking down my police report for assault
“Since he hit you with an object — his shoe — I’m classifying this as ‘assault with a deadly weapon,’ Jessie. That’s a felony.” she said. I can’t describe just how badly I needed to hear those validating words from her. Up until then, I had been a swirling mess of shame, self-doubt, pain, guilt, fear, loneliness, and utter despair.
With her help and trust in me, I saw my future as a survivor, and not just as a victim.
On advising me after I went from victim to wanted suspect
In a panic, I told her the reason the detective gave me for wanting to arrest me (I really shouldn’t have. My lawyer would’ve absolutely not been ok with this). Again, she compassionately listened. Then, she looked me in the eyes and warmly, but firmly, told me I needed to drop everything, go home, and start calling criminal defense attorneys immediately.
I listened, and the charges against me were ultimately dropped.
On treating me like a human being
I will forever feel gratitude toward this female police officer. She treated me like a human being, rather than a mere pawn in The System.
Follow Jessie on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.