Why Don’t Victims Report Rape? (Part Eleventy-Eight)

The Charlotte Observer can help answer this! They have a story up about the experience of a woman named Leah McGuirk (who appears to be quite the bad-ass). Less than a month ago, McGuirk went to a bar at a mall-type thing with lots of bars/restaurants called the EpiCentre (yes, spelled like that even though it’s in the States). How did that go for her? Let’s read!

she suffered seizure-like symptoms, blurred vision and had trouble standing up after consuming two-thirds of one drink

Like any normal young woman in the US, she came to the most logical conclusion and evidence-supported conclusion available:

she thought she had been “roofied,” a term for having a drug slipped into a drink, typically by someone with intent to sexually assault their victim

Yes, just your everyday young-woman’s experience in the US of A. Nothing to worry about. Especially not if you’re a cop who has donuts to eat:

So I just went to the #CMPD police department to report being roofied two weeks ago, and the officer treated me like I was the criminal and asked me why I waited so long to report it. I told him I was traumatized.
He wouldn’t let me report the crime there. I was told I would have to go to the scene of the crime and call 911, and go to the bar to show the police where the crime happened.

Yep, that’s right. If you don’t immediately realize you need to call 911 when your brain is addled by drugs administered to you non-consensually by some unknown party to report that your brain is addled by drugs administered to you non-consensually, Officer Honey Badger don’t give a fuck about your report. McGuirk decided to ask some questions of her social-media friends:

This doesn’t seem legal or correct to me. Has anyone heard of such a thing?

To answer your questions,

  1. It is unfortunately probably legal for cops to refuse to provide or limit service to people reporting criminal behavior in this case as it is in many other cases, even cases where there is an immediate and ongoing concern for the welfare and even life of a child.
  2. No. It’s not correct at all, and that officer is a complete jerk who has no understanding of the human response to trauma, and quite possibly little-to-no understanding of the effects of consciousness-impairing drugs as well. Or perhaps too great an understanding. It’s hard to tell.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department also thinks this is wrong, although they only decided this is wrong after McGuirk’s public posts went viral and made them look bad.

According to Peacock, the Sexual Assault Unit found out about the incident through social media and asked McGuirk to file a report about being drugged and also file a complaint against the officer.

There is no word on whether the officer with no understanding of human trauma or what constitutes evidence happened to be named “billyjoe“. However, I’m sure that Officer Honey Badger had good reason to treat McGuirk’s report with the same disinterest one might treat a report of space aliens bogarting the guacamole. It turns out that that special restaurant/nightclub focussed mall, the EpiCentre? The one where McGuirk reported she was roofied? That one?

According to CMPD, there have been one reported rape and three reported sex offenses at the EpiCentre, a collection of bars, restaurants and shops at 210 E. Trade St., in 2018. Two of these reports say that the victim may have been drugged, according to CMPD. Four other reports or calls have been filed in 2018 related to being drugged at the EpiCentre.

You can understand Officer Honey Badger’s skepticism better now, I’m sure. But lest you think someone is using the EpiCentre repeatedly to hunt for victims, Good Cop Lt. Melanie Peacock of the CMPD (the one who contacted McGuirk after discovering that McGuirk’s facebook post was making the CMPD look bad) wants you to know

she had “no reason” to think that the reports of being drugged were connected

So that’s nice. At least capitalism can hum along unimpeded.

So what does McGuirk think of all this, and how does it bear on our original question? Well, first there’s this:

She also said that there needs to be a legal term for people who are drugged but are not sexually assaulted, which is what she says happened to her.

I can understand how the lack of an obvious category might make it hard for cops with very small brains to understand the need to take a police report. To solve that, what about the category “Poisoned”? McGuirk also has some thoughts on the belated apology she received from CMPD:

McGuirk said that it’s good CMPD acknowledged that the way she was treated was inappropriate, but that the problem shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

“It took a YouTube video for them to contact me, and that is symptomatic of a larger problem,” she said.

Fuck yeah it is.







  1. Oggie. says

    Gotta love it.* If there is an assault, or an attempted assault, unless the victim reports it to the police and there is a police report, and an investigation that leads to arrest, trial and conviction, there not only is no crime, but no reason for the victim to even complain (much less warn anyone about what was going on). But, of course, reporting it to the police creates chances for assholes like Officer Asshole who are misogynistic assholes to deny reality, set up bureaucratic roadblocks, or procedural roadblocks. Which is, to the rapist, ideal. Small chance of it being reported, a small chance that a given report will be acted upon, and an even smaller chance that a given report will acted upon in a competent manner (now, if it were a black man looking menacing in a coffee shop, they’d call out the SWAT team). I know, I’m being Captain Obvious here, sorry.

    * This is sarcasm. Honest.

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