A New York City Police Department captain drew backlash Friday for saying a lack of arrests after reported sex attacks was “not a trend that we’re too worried about” because many of the perpetrators were acquainted with the victims, and not strangers.
Police attributed the lack of arrests to the fact that most rapes were committed by victims’ acquaintances, adding that women who reported the attacks often stopped cooperating with investigators, according to DNAinfo.
“Some of them were Tinder, some of them were hookup sites, some of them were actually coworkers. It’s not a trend that we’re too worried about because out of 13 (cases), only two were true stranger rapes,” Captain Peter Rose of the 94th Precinct told the website.
“Every rape should be investigated. I wish we could do more,” he said.
Rose reportedly made further comments at a community council meeting Wednesday suggesting that rapes committed by strangers to the victim were more worrying to police than acquaintance rapes.
“They’re not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets,” he said.
“If there’s a true stranger rape, a random guy picks up a stranger off the street, those are the troubling ones. That person has, like, no moral standards,” he added.
Rose’s comments received fierce backlash after being circulated on social media on Friday. Sexual-violence prevention advocates frequently decry the myths that most sexual assaults are committed by strangers and that such cases are more severe than assaults committed by acquaintances.
New York City’s public advocate, Letitia James, said in a statement provided to Business Insider that she is “extremely disturbed and concerned” by Rose’s comments, and called upon the police department to ensure its officers are properly trained to handle sex crimes and interact with victims.
“Too often, victims of rape and sexual crimes do not come forward because of fear that their claims won’t be taken seriously, and these comments perpetuate those concerns,” James said.
“I want victims to know that we believe them; we are here for them; and we will never tolerate rape or sexual assault in our society.”
— Claire Landsbaum (@landsbaumshell) January 6, 2017
— Bae Witty (@RaeWitte) January 6, 2017
— Ben Walsh (@BenDWalsh) January 6, 2017
This is, like, an official public statement not an embarrassing secret recording. https://t.co/vHxq6t9Enf
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 6, 2017
Statistics show that most sexual violence perpetrators are, in fact, known to the victim — just 28% of rapes are committed by strangers, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
On Friday afternoon, the women’s rights group UltraViolet called upon the police department to immediately fire Rose “for his dangerous and unacceptable views.”
“Captain Peter Rose and the NYPD are engaging in victim-blaming of the worst kind while judging which rapes they deem to be legitimate and which they do not,” co-founder Nita Chaudhary said in a statement.
“With comments like these, it is not surprising that survivors of sexual assault don’t feel comfortable reporting and cooperating with police authorities who dismiss the seriousness of violence against women.”
The NYPD did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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