Driving While Female

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According to this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer entitled “Extorting Sex With A Badge,” sexual abuse by police officers is alarmingly common. Here’s an excerpt:

Sex abuse by police has received little of the attention or urgency given police brutality or shootings.

A handful of studies suggest the magnitude of the problem. In one of the earliest, Roger L. Goldman and Steven Puro of St. Louis University examined Florida cases from the 1970s and 1980s in which officers lost their law-enforcement certifications.

To their surprise, the researchers found that sexual misconduct was the most common type of police abuse of citizens, more prevalent than thefts or beatings.

That statistic was buried in the records and had to be teased out. In some cases, they found, police demands for sex had been labeled as a form of bribery.

A 2003 analysis found that sexual misconduct was the leading reason that officers lost their badges in Utah. Of 80 officers removed over a two-year period, 25 were disciplined for sex offenses, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Another study – called “Driving While Female” because so many cases begin with traffic stops – argues that the problem “parallels the national problem of racial profiling.”

Their research documented the failure of some victims to come forward, and the official skepticism that greets many who do.

As a result, “there is good reason to believe that these [reported] cases represent only the tip of the iceberg,” said the 2002 study, by Samuel Walker and Dawn Irlbeck of the University of Nebraska.

Via Feministing.
–Ann Bartow

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