There are estimates of the number of crimes committed by men against women, especially rape and other forms of sexual assault, that go unreported. There is no way to know the unknowable; there is no way to know what is not reported. I can tell you that I have been raped multiple times and never reported it. I’ve been sexually assaulted (non-rape sex assaults) more times than I can remember and I’ve never reported it. I recently had my house burglarized while I was in it, in fact, and I didn’t report it. Based on my own experiences and observations, I’d say the estimates of unreported crimes in which the victims are women is substantially higher than what is estimated (which is already a high figure).
Even other people who distrust law enforcement asked me why I didn’t call them when I had an intruder. In this recent incident, nothing was taken and I scared the intruder off. (If something substantial had been taken, I would have had to make a report for insurance purposes.)
The answer to the question, “Why didn’t you call the cops?” is multi-fold. Firstly, regardless of the nature of the crime, there is no point in calling them because even if they take a report (sometimes they won’t) and even if I were to press charges against the offender, the criminal justice system isn’t going to do anything to stop him (for instance, if you prosecute your domestic abuser, they will just fine him a tiny sum of money and send him back to live with you). Secondly, it is likely that whoever I try to report it to will pretend not to believe me or will have some reason why nothing can be done about the situation. I know this from experience that whatever evidence you have of a crime, they want something else. Thirdly, I don’t trust police to do the right thing with regard to any crimes, but especially sex crimes, because I have been stalked and raped by police officers, uniformed and on-duty. This is a very common problem in the U.S. Law enforcement agents harass, stalk and sexually assault women on a regular basis and it’s something that is frightening and almost impossible to discuss. All of these reasons are why many women, like myself, do not call the police.
The police are part of the patriarchal system. They are men. They have penises and other weapons, which they may use against you at any time. Any contact with them I’ve ever had, even trying to anonymously report crimes, has been absolutely terrifying (because I know first hand what they do to women). Law enforcement agencies are organized brotherhoods. They allow women into their ranks fairly rarely and grudgingly. Reporting rape, domestic violence or other sex crimes to the police is crazy in light of this knowledge. In fact, I’m sure the only women who ever call them are those who either had no choice in the matter (for instance, when you are beaten or raped by men and left to die in a public place, your body is discovered and you are taken to a hospital, it is likely they are going to call them whether you want them to or not) or just have not yet had their first real encounter with law enforcement and still believe that policemen are the friends of citizens, ready to help.
The police don’t help women, not because the system is broken, but because this is how the system was always meant to work. The laws in the U.S. were written by white men, for white men. Women were only considered as property of men – as daughters, wives, sisters and mothers. Women have never achieved full citizenship in the U.S.; we remain unequal citizens to men. Despite some modifications that have been made to laws in the past 50 years, the reality of our lives as the property of men has changed very little.
Women are rarely heard and on the rare occasions when we are, we are not believed. This is why we don’t go to the police. It is why I (and many women like me) find the idea laughable. It’s gallows humor, but the idea of calling a cop after being raped (again!) is absurd. If you’ve just been raped, why would you call more rapists? It doesn’t make any sense. They are going to assist the men for whom the law was written, whom the law was designed to protect. The law was written to protect men’s freedom and to regulate women and girls as the property of men. Any woman who understands that, who has any grasp of that however small, is most certainly not going to call the cops when she becomes the victim of a crime.
Most women and girls, when they are raped, have a whole lot of other things going through their minds (like survival, for instance) after they escape their rapist. If you are a woman who has just been raped by a man, the last thing you want to see is more men. You, also, don’t want to see representatives of their patriarchal system, if you are wise. That is you don’t want to see cops or doctors. They are both representatives of the authoritarian male system, a member of which just tried to kill you. Some women do go to cops or doctors after the first such event, but few if any do it, again, when they are attacked the next time.
This is because law enforcement, the allopathic medical system, and the judicial system are all part of the same system that allowed you to be raped and otherwise brutalized by men, in the first place.
Here are some more reasons never to call law enforcement:
Cops are men who rape women. If you’re a woman who has just been raped or sexually assaulted calling more rapists to the scene is not the first thing on your mind.
Cops rape women when they have the opportunity, for instance, when they are called to the scene of accidents. (For instance, a friend of mine was the victim of an attempted police rape after she sustained a head injury in a traffic accident.) It is common knowledge that this goes on in some places, like Houston where it’s been like this since, at least, the 1970s. These are just a couple of them whose actions couldn’t be sufficiently concealed from the public. Cops feel like this is their right; they are owed the right to rape because they “put their lives on the line protecting the public.” I know this because I used to know a lot of cops and I know how they “reason.”
Houston is near Galveston. Houston is the human trafficking capital of the U.S. and the second biggest hub of kidnapping (after Phoenix, AZ). What do you suppose these four officers were up to when they grabbed a 12-year old girl off her own porch? http://blogs.houstonpress.com/news/2010/01/dymond_milburn_galveston_polic.php Her father was later arrested on what appear to be trumped up drug charges.
Here’s an Officer of the Month: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-giving-girl-ride-pulled-gun-raped-gunpoint-hood-car/
Calling the cops for any reason, whatsoever, can be very dangerous, especially if you are a woman:
If you are a woman and you try to report that a man has raped you to the police, you may be arrested and charged with a crime. There are numerous cases of this happening in the U.S. Increasingly, there are calls for women who cannot satisfactorily prove their cases to be charged with a crime and imprisoned.
Here’s another similar case, this one from the U.K.: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/my-partner-raped-me-and-i-was-the-one-prosecuted-9897674.html
Domestic violence is a euphemism to describe horrific violence committed by men against women in a specific location – our own homes. The location of the violence and the nature of the crime (a man raping, beating or otherwise abusing a woman) means that it has a higher burden of proof in court and lesser punishments. For instance, extremely violent crime, as long as it is committed by a man against a woman in her own home, is only a misdemeanor. In the video below, to lawyers discuss the difficulty of prosecuting such crimes within the male-dominated court system in their particular county in Florida. If you don’t already have first hand knowledge of this, you will see why women don’t call the cops.
If you go to the police, the least that will happen is nothing at all. The worst that will happen is that you will be arrested or attacked by them. If a man wants to kill you, they will wait until he does this before they do anything at all and you can bet that will be your fault, too.