Botched Police Work Makes Me Remember How The Police Failed Me

Botched Police Work Makes Me Remember How The Police Failed Me

My reaction to the CNN story covering the destruction of unprocessed Rape Kits in 14 states.

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On the second of December, CNN ran a story talking about the destruction of unprocessed rape kits in 14 states. This conduct was discovered because a victim in one of the states where this was occurring went to be updated on progress and found out her case was thrown out.

The first thought I had was to check and see if my state of Ohio participated in those activities. Even though it's been almost 30 years for my assaults, and I was never taken to the police when they happened to me, I was glad that Ohio detectives didn't destroy untested evidence. I feel like they were negligent and unaware, but at least they weren't criminals themselves.

Whenever I have to go to update my child abuse and prevention in-service hours for my job, it is a heart-wrenching and triggering experience.

Watching video reenactments of abuse plus reading about cases of true stories of abuse makes me just want to jump out my own skin. Or become a social worker so I can find these kids and save them. I never leave one of those trainings without crying my eyes out at least twice from sorrow and jealousy.

On one hand, it's wonderful to see the progress that's been made towards supporting children who have been through sexual, physical, psychological, and/or neglect abuse. On the other hand, I can't help but wonder where all this was when I was growing up.

Why were police okay with just picking me up all hours of the evening after school on the streets just to take me to my babysitter's house or back home? Yes, I was a latchkey kid, but obviously something else was going on at home. My elementary school even arranged the school bus to drop me off on my babysitter's street to make sure I went there after school.

Why did nobody think they should investigate my home life more? I think for the longest time people just wrote me off as scatterbrained and stupid and just chalked up my behaviors to symptoms of that. I didn't feel cared for by authorities, my school, or the police.

I remember vividly telling teachers and friends about my sexual assaults but no one did anything or said anything about it. It got so bad that I became aware when people would outright shame me for putting myself in those situations and that I was probably remembering things wrong since I was so young when they happened. So eventually I just kept my mouth shut.

In fact, until writing for Odyssey, I've never talked about my assaults again. Not even to the dozens of child psychologists I had been going to since I became of age.

Now, hotlines and police stations and even hospitals have direct access to Children and Family Services. Daycare centers take children to 12 years of age, libraries offer homework centers, Afterschool programs are open to six at night, recreational centers are open till late in the evenings — all to prevent delinquency and latchkey kids. It feels like the world changed almost overnight from uncaring to overbearing. Films like “Antwone Fisher" and “Precious" accurately depicted a lot of my life growing up.

After researching the statute of limitations for rape cases here in Ohio, I wondered how my life would have changed if I had done a rape kit for my two assaults. Would the police have looked into the rest of my home life after the examination? Would I have been happy that the perpetrators had been put away — taken from their parents and loved ones? Could I have felt good about myself being the cause of a father being taken away from his two kids and a girlfriend that needed him?

I at least wish I could've done something to stop the upstairs man from hurting others. Who knows how many other victims of his are out there now because I didn't know how to get justice for myself. Was I his first victim? I'll never know.

It's sad that those whose rape kits were destroyed by the police departments in those states will never get justice. At least they went and got the rape kits done. They tried to bring their perpetrators down.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Arizona Is Known For Its Women Leaders

Twenty years after Arizona elected the "Fab Five," the first women Senators from Arizona were sent to Washington.

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The year is 1998, 4 years after the "Year of the Woman." Arizona elects five women to its top statewide offices. Four Republicans, and one Democrat. Governor Jane Dee Hull, Secretary of State Betsey Bayless, Attorney General Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Public Instruction Lisa Graham Keegan, and State Treasurer Carol Springer. The first state in the country to pull it off. Arizona has had a long history of electing women to statewide offices. Arizona elected five women to statewide offices as well as its first female Senator. This isn't new for Arizonans, they elected women into statewide office just in 2014, with Michele Reagan as Secretary of State and Diane Douglas as Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Arizonans are very civically independent people, they take their right to vote extremely serious. They do their homework on candidates, and even though Republican usually dominate here, they still choose the best candidate they see fit, whether they be male or female. Arizona now has two female Senators, Kyrsten Sinema, and Martha McSally, who was appointed back in December. Not only are we represented federally by women, but we are also represented by three women at the state capitol. Kimberly Yee, State Treasurer, Kathy Hoffman Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Katie Hobbs Secretary of State. Not only are they women, but two of them are Democrats. Back in 1998, four were Republicans and just one was a Democrat.

Although we Arizonans have elected several women into office, we are still seeing a shift in who represents us. Democrats made huge strides in the last election in the state legislature, and several think that 2018 was just the beginning. The Grand Canyon State is very picky when it comes to its leaders, and it has no fear of electing women. 2020 is less than one year away, and it will be interesting to see how Arizona not only votes for its state leaders, but also for President.

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