I, Anonymous

Thanks for Nothing, SPD

I doubt you remember me, but I am the 20-year-old girl who came up to you crying because a man tried to grab me from behind earlier that day. I was terrified and embarrassed. And you guys laughed at me. You pretended to write down the description I gave you. You pretended that you were going to keep an eye out for him while you stood inside the movie theater. A friend asked me later what I expected from you guys. I expected you to not be assholes. I expected you to give two shits about my safety. But congratulations, SPD, you did it. You made me feel humiliated about almost being attacked. Thanks, I will remember to not try again.


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Comments (44) RSS

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Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on January 1, 2014 at 5:43 PM · Report this
so the SPD has not changed since i was a young woman in my 20's. fuck you SPD. fuck you. i was kidnapped at gunpoint and all you assholes did was smirk and say "where's your FRIEND" over and over and not even take reports from 4 witnesses. and when i asked what i should do since the attacker knew where i lived you snidely said "call 911" as you walked away. i will forever hate the SPD.
Posted by flequus on January 1, 2014 at 7:28 PM · Report this
how is this fake? this happens all THE TIME!!!
Posted by copkicker2011 on January 2, 2014 at 5:27 AM · Report this
Seattlebcc 4
I bet this 20- something wasnt paying attention to her surroundings and now its everyones fault! Why did it happen to me? Why didnt the cops go chasing the wind looking for someone that had either blended with the crowd or was blocks away? Why? Why? Why? Welcome to the big city. Get yourself a taser and try to remember to NOT spending your time looking face-down into a cell phone while you are out and about and you wont have to worry about whinning about it later!
Posted by Seattlebcc on January 2, 2014 at 7:43 AM · Report this
@4. You my friend are an asshole of the worst kind.
Posted by Really Bro? on January 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Seattlebcc, you know what she was doing so well! Crazy! You seem to know all these details that weren't even in the IA! Amazing! have no fucking clue and you're being a total fucking dick .

Posted by kittysnake on January 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM · Report this
It's funny that 99% they people that get hassled by SPD Thugs are, well, crackheads. Not always, but 99% of the time.

This story is a Stranger Setup.

It can't go wrong, what with the general attitude of most Stranger readers.

Even if it *IS* complete fake bad-mouthing.

Names, AI, badge numbers. Where was you phone? No pictures?

Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on January 2, 2014 at 7:33 PM · Report this
Hard to say if it's "bait" Anon against the cops. They have a tough enough time being credible as it is, without the Stranger adding to the mix. If this person came up to the officers with story about being assaulted, my guess is that the officers either knew her, or judging by her story, was downtown at the hempfest or in Belltown at 3:a.m.
Posted by longwayhome on January 2, 2014 at 7:55 PM · Report this
I'm sorry, I didn't realize being a crackhead, at Hempfest or in Belltown at 3am meant you ceased being a human being and no longer deserved to be treated with respect. My bad. Thanks for enlightening me, #s 7 & 8.
Posted by twiggn on January 2, 2014 at 8:15 PM · Report this
TCLballardwallymont 10
@9 "I didn't realize being a crackhead, at Hempfest or in Belltown at 3am meant you ceased being a human being and no longer deserved to be treated with respect."

Now that you do realize, try not to be another subhuman crackhead or drunk in Belltown at 3am. If you fall into those categories you'll get all the respect you deserve. Welcome to the real world, where shitty people get treated like shit. Shocking isn't it?
Posted by TCLballardwallymont on January 2, 2014 at 10:36 PM · Report this
I wonder if #4 was or is the type that attack women with the excuse that they provoke it. It's not the first time I hear or read about jerks (maybe criminals) with that excuse.
Posted by eternal newcomer on January 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM · Report this
Slam1263 12
Geez, you run headlong into me, because you are so tied up in your cellphone, and suddenly, I am a perv that grabbed you from behind.

Yes, I will loudly state; Watch where you are walking, Dumbass, next time as well.

You're just mad because the cops waved me along, and told you to pay attention.
Posted by Slam1263 on January 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM · Report this
She says the man "tried" to grab her from behind "earlier in the day." How much earlier? An hour or two?

She says she expected them to care about her safety but she wasn't in any danger and hadn't been since "earlier in ther day."

She says she was humiliated about "almost" being attacked.

All of that conisdered I wouldn't have taken her very seriously either.
Posted by HektorKamacho on January 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM · Report this
To all the white male jackasses above making excuses for Rape Culture: you are sympathizing with rapists and attackers, and not with women, who live with this bullshit every goddamned day of the year. Fuck you.

A special note to Dan Savage: please quit asking your female readers who report rapes/attacks why they don't report them. This is a tiny drop in a gigantic goddamned ocean of Why.
Posted by happyhedonist on January 4, 2014 at 8:51 AM · Report this
To Anon:
I'm sorry. Yes, cops are total fucking assholes. It's actually a requirement when they're hired that they show how spectacularly assholey they can be, and they uphold that principle above all others. Now you know. Nearly every woman alive for more than two decades has a laundry list of bullshit just like this to share, so go out for drinks with them to commiserate and ignore the jackhats like the above ones. They're just as assholey as the police, but with smaller ... paychecks.
Posted by happyhedonist on January 4, 2014 at 8:54 AM · Report this
**who *don't* report rapes/attacks why they do not**
Posted by happyhedonist on January 4, 2014 at 9:00 AM · Report this
You know, I want to be sympathetic. I really do, but I made a really awkward discovery a couple years ago that has forever colored these kinds of stories. All the people I know that have been assaulted/raped/attacked have had it happen more than once, and I'd say at least half of the people I know that have stories like this were victimized an astonishing number of times. It stretches and then defies belief, IMO.

As a society we've begun to talk about the fact that most convicted rapists have raped multiple times before finally been caught and convicted. We're coming around to the idea that rape is almost always about power, not sex or confusion regarding consent. We've actually made pretty decent headway into getting good statistics or at least better stats on how often this crime happens. That's good and I applaud that. It's something that probably needs to be understood before it can be effectively prevented. But aside from superficially, we haven't examined the victims and I think that's an oversight.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 4, 2014 at 1:58 PM · Report this
Actually, we've examined the victims ad nauseum. We've examined where they were and why. What they were wearing and why. What time of night it was and why. What kind of come-on they used and why. How they could be so stupid to be complicit in their own assault. How he couldn't be a victim because he's a guy. What you just articulated is Rape Culture 101.

In fact, that's all we've examined until recently. We have shitty statistics and bare-bones research. I've spent more time in conversation with sex offenders than you might ever want to and I can promise you this: it's astonishing that we know so little about them, how they got that way, and why. We prefer to paint them as inhuman "worst of the worst", assure ourselves that we can't do anything to prevent their behavior by changing our laws, our culture and our values, and go on our merry way.

If we paid as much attention to the factors that allow sex offenders to act with impunity as we have to tearing down survivors of sexual assault (male and female), we might be making far more decent headway.
Posted by jt on January 5, 2014 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Kinison 19
Working security for concerts in my 20s. In the Mercer Street Arena, Mudhoney I think, front row of general admission, the fence that separates the crowd from the stage a woman waves me down.

"Someone keeps grabbing my ass", Patron

"Do you want me to pull you out and re-admit you back into general?", Me

She thinks for a moment, most likely about how hard it was to get to the front..

"No ... ", Patron

All I see are women around her, I cannot tell who is touching her and all I can do is offer to pull her out, as I don't have the authority to eject someone for something I didn't witness. She turns down my offer and whoever was grabbing her ass, kept on doing so.
Posted by Kinison on January 5, 2014 at 1:31 PM · Report this
We have here a one-sided story with very few details. It's easy to peel off platitudes about misogynistic men, male sex perverts, and bad cops, but there's no evidence to support such speculation.

And really, what were these cops supposed to do about some ass-grabbing that took place "earlier that day"? Call out the forces, seal off downtown, and do a block-by-block search with dogs?

The story is not reasonable. In other words, fake, probably written by some lefty with a chip on her shoulder about cops.
Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on January 5, 2014 at 2:16 PM · Report this
@20...not laugh? That seems like a pretty low bar for professionalism, one that we might even agree on.
Posted by jt on January 5, 2014 at 5:45 PM · Report this
@18 -- that's not what I meant and I think you deliberately missed what I was saying. I mean we need to figure out why some women get raped over and over (or claim they do.) Sure, we know that some of them live in a bad part of town. Some are victims of ongoing abuse. Those are easy to categorize. But what was different about the two girls I knew that had experienced rape multiple times? We lived in the same neighborhood, we did many of the same things. We knew a lot of the same people. But they were victimized and I never even felt more than a little nervous. Another girl I knew that lived in the neighborhood a little later never experienced anything either.

Why do these two people stand out of a crowd. Statistically speaking, if I got all the girls in that neighborhood together we had statistically the same chance of being a victim of rape. (Once.) These girls however, experienced enough rape for ALL of us.

I can't make sense of that.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 5, 2014 at 8:41 PM · Report this
@21 -- pretty sure I've laughed at the wrong moment at work when someone asked for the sun and moon, which is what this girl did. Laughing is sometimes all you can do. Even if it isn't the right time or the right place.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 5, 2014 at 8:52 PM · Report this
debug 24
Mayors ultimately control a city's police force. If you don't like your police force find and elect a mayor that is aligned to your issues and, once elected, don't let up on their ass until they do something.
Posted by debug on January 6, 2014 at 1:14 PM · Report this
@17/22: Certain people are indeed especially attractive/attracted to abusers. I'm not a trained psychologist, but I'm sure a professional could go into some theories as to why that is.

Speaking of trained professionals, if someone you know is victimized repeatedly, you should suspect that they go see one ASAP. That's the best thing us untrained laypeople can do.
Posted by ChiTodd on January 6, 2014 at 11:50 PM · Report this
* suspect = suggest
Posted by ChiTodd on January 6, 2014 at 11:51 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 27
Unsolicited grabbing from behind = assault. Assault is a crime. Reporting people who commit/try to commit crimes to the police is a reasonable thing to do. I don't see what's so difficult to understand about that, although apparently a lot of people on this thread have trouble understanding it.

It *is* slightly unclear in this context what "grabbing from behind" means. It could mean he was being invasively touchy-feely, or it could mean an intent to do something more violent (e.g. he was trying to mug or rape her). Either way it's an attempted assault.
Posted by Sea Otter on January 7, 2014 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Did everyone completely miss @12's comment?
Posted by JimmyCap on January 7, 2014 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Sea Otter 29
@28 There are no specific details about the person or the incident that the grabber could recognize himself by. There are probably multiple incidents of attempted grabbing every day. 12 is either making a lot of assumptions, or just trolling.
Posted by Sea Otter on January 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Sea Otter 30
Besides which, 12's story doesn't match Anon's story at all. How does "you ran into me and the cops were right there" even remotely line up with "someone tried to grab me from behind and I tried to report it hours later"? Obviously unrelated incidents.
Posted by Sea Otter on January 7, 2014 at 11:47 AM · Report this
@25 -- I know what you are talking about, but I've never seen a good study that confirms that particular hypothesis. My understanding is that studies that say people that are raped once are more likely to be raped again are actually the results of self-reported surveys. Those are a staring point but hardly definitive.

The reason I say that is you or I could say anything on a survey. It doesn't have to be the truth or anything even close to it. A comprehensive study would need to look not only at self-reported surveys but also at reports vrs. convictions and weigh those conviction ratios. What I mean is this -- say I'm raped in the middle of the night and I have no idea who my attacker is. I report it to the police, but of course, they don't even come up with a suspect. I wouldn't consider that to have much weight in the survey. However, if a another person claimed they were raped multiple times by people known to them and that resulted in multiple convictions -- that would lend a lot of credence to the concept.

Of course, the flip side of that is someone who reported multiple rapes by people known to them that resulted in no convictions would actually go against the hypothesis.

Don't take this as me thinking our criminal system works perfectly, it doesn't. But this would be a matter of overall stats and could be very telling.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 7, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
That is, reported them to police. For the sake of good record keeping, I'd make note of how many women reported or did not report, but in this study at least, only rapes reported to the police could be used as supporting evidence.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 7, 2014 at 4:09 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 33

There's research out there (which puts the lie to your assumption that no one's studied the victim's side) demonstrating that sex offenders can identify past victims just by looking at them. They also claimed that they would prefer those women as victims over women who had never been assaulted before.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 7, 2014 at 4:52 PM · Report this
@33 -- that's nice and all, but it tells me about the perpatrators, not the victims. It suggests things about them, but just as you can only provide a third party your observations about me, so it can only provide a third party observations about the victims.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 7, 2014 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Snidely, what are you looking for? I just went back to comment #22 and I think what you missed is that you could live in a neighborhood where it's perfectly safe to walk at night and where there's plenty of abuse going on behind closed doors.

Could you share what studies you're referring to?
Posted by jt on January 7, 2014 at 10:36 PM · Report this
@35 -- there are no studies that I know of. That's the problem. We have the study that #33 mentions which tells us that at least some perps can pick prior victims out of a lineup and find them to be more attractive. We have some interviews that state that people that live in bad neighborhoods and abusive situations are more likely to not fight back after awhile (like most victims of ongoing abuse) but that applies across the board. We also have some studies that say that most rapes are committed by people known to the victim.

I think that we are mistaking demographics and collected statistics as studies on rape victims. They are not. They are just numbers about age, race, location. None of that really helps us understand the victim OR the perp.

None of that begins to help me understand what I saw happen in college. Here's the scoop. Two girls from what are usually characterized as good, middle-class homes come to my tiny college town. They live in the dorms (actually the place where it seems MOST of the rapes in that town took place.) However, nothing happens to them there. They both move off campus.

Within a few weeks of each other, they are raped by the same guy, known to both of them before then as a good friend. A few more weeks go by and suddenly, another girl from that group claims that she was violated by her boyfriend. The first two girls report back to the group that they were both raped again by a different mutual acquaintance. Obviously everyone in the group of friends is pretty freaked out. The two girls that were raped first move in with each other for safety sake and everyone in the gang begs and pleads with the girls to go to the police, go get tested for STDs, etc. They refuse. They also refuse to go the cheap on-campus therapy.

Things settle down for a bit, but then there is another wave of rapes. In fact, the two girls claim that they are raped a second time by a previous attacker that they had let into their apartment. At this point, sad to say, the stories start becoming more and more incomprehensible and bizarre. Again, we all plead with them to go to the police, go get rape kits done and they refuse.

About six months later they somehow get one of the rapists thrown out of school. I never heard anything past that point.

Something OBVIOUSLY went wrong here. one other rape that I know of was reported during to the police during that time. Another girl (lived in the dorms) claimed she'd been raped by one of the guys the two girls claimed raped them. I heard of no other incidents. It seems that these two girls experienced more rapes in a few months than usually happened in that town in years. There are a lot of questions in my head:

1. Were they raped? (I remain, to this day, confused on this. The events make no sense to me.)
2. Why did they let a guy that had committed a crime against them into their apartment?
3. Is the reason that rape victims are often raped more than once because they are more willing to classify rape as what it is? (This I think could be a big part of it. Maybe people that have experienced only an unwanted seduction (datish rape?) are more likely to rationalize away the event until something else that they can't rationalize away happens to them, and then they see it for what it is.)
4. Were these two girls engaging in a risky behavior that opened them up to criminal activity, such as leaving their front door unlocked at night when they were asleep? Did they continue it after the events? Did it contribute to subsequent events?

I think that we could do some kind of study that looks at 3 and at 4. I think we could also devise a study that could look into #2 though it would be harder.

But those are the things I think we need to study.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 8, 2014 at 8:27 AM · Report this
Sorry, more thoughts.

We've also really only studied and examined victims that have gone the police, which my personal experience says is less than a quarter of them. (I know ONE, count em ONE victim that actually went to the police.)

I know I said that we need to specifically look at the ones that went to the police to create useful stats and we do. But we also probably need to study non-reporters as well. I'm not saying that they can go hang. I really don't think that. There are a lot of good reasons to NOT report.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 8, 2014 at 8:49 AM · Report this
Funny because the last SPD officer I saw on foot a few days ago was standing inside a bar watching TV.

Now I understand that SPD officers, like in any profession, are allowed breaks. But when wearing the uniform, they are representing the department to anyone who sees them and what I saw as SPD at a bar watching a game instead of out on the street helping people or what ever it is they are actually hired to do.
Posted by LiveLearnAndWork on January 9, 2014 at 5:10 PM · Report this

While I can't point to any studies, per se, and I have no idea what motivated the women in the college story you told, I can offer an anecdotal response as to why some people may be victimized again and again.

Speaking as a victim of childhood sexual assault and someone who has spent a significant amount of time in online CSA support groups reading the stories of others, I can offer this: The effects of sexual assault (especially in childhood, especially when perpetrated by someone you know and/or trust and *most* especially when the child is not believed/not removed from the situation/life is threatened/is blamed for the assault) engender a wide variety of twisted personal beliefs and coping behaviors, many of which can lead to a victim being victimized over and over again.

I have read more despondent "Why does this keep happening to me?" stories than I care to remember. One assault is tragic. Repeated assaults are agony beyond most people's understanding. Because of this, many people blame or do not believe the victim, which compounds the trauma and often keeps the victim from seeking help.

People deeply damaged by early assault will often move into a dissociative state when confronted by a potential abuser. They become paralyzed, unable to run, scream, or sometimes even move. Where a healthy person confronted by a skeezy stranger making an inappropriate proposition would move quickly away, a person traumatized by early sexual assault might freeze, or even move closer.

Further, a traumatized person will behave in a way that is recognizable to a serial offender. He deliberately uses an inappropriate lead-in to identify potential victims. He will know immediately by a person's response that he can move ahead, and if he is a studied offender, he will know exactly how to do what he intends and leave the victim believing it is her fault.
Posted by apoptotic on January 11, 2014 at 4:29 PM · Report this
Apoptotic -- I knew all of that. But thank you for posting that because I think plenty of people DON'T know that childhood trauma can follow a victim around like that.

But, as you point it, it still leaves me wondering what the heck happened. And I know several stories similar to mine that make as much or less sense. It seems to be something of a phenomena -- one that worries me. Which is why I think we should study it.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 12, 2014 at 5:18 PM · Report this

Maybe this site is a place for you to start:
"Numerous studies of campus rape have found that a small number of victims are repeat victims."

I am surprised that you even question if the rape victims you knew left their door unlocked at night, after you had mentioned that their rapes were acquaintance rapes. I'd assume that they let the rapist into their flat since they were acquainted with him.
Posted by migrationist on January 13, 2014 at 5:17 AM · Report this
Er, re-read what I said. They let him into their flat AFTER he had raped them.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 13, 2014 at 7:20 PM · Report this
@17 This is true with every kind of violent assault, or emotional abuse. People who have been beaten are likely to be beaten again. People who have been harmed are likely to be harmed again. This is because, to predatory monsters, vulnerability is visible. Blood in the water attracts sharks. It's part of why abused children go on to be abused adults a lot of the time. It's not a mystery. Also, once harmed like that, the despair, emotional and mental trauma can lead a person to not value themselves anymore. And make them less likely to feel like they either can be or deserve to be safe, which of course puts them in danger. When you are suicidal, for example, what does it matter what happens to you anymore? Sick assholes can see it, and they move in. Rapes are not generally committed by strangers.
Posted by gnot on January 14, 2014 at 6:41 PM · Report this
Hey you guys, sorry I took so long to read what some jack asses had to say about me almost getting attacked down town. He put his hand around my eyes in the middle of daylight. But your right, I deserved it, on eighth and olive on my way to work. I am a shitty human being who deserves to be attacked. To all the people who are saying that kind of stuff, i want you to know your the problem. And one day when you have children, and your daughters are growing up, and they get objectified, harassed, abused, mistreated, and attacked, please tell them what you have so kindly told me. It's your fault. You don't deserve safety. You don't deserve respect. So don't expect it. Much love fellow humans. I hope you rot in hell.
Posted by Junkie on June 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM · Report this

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