Re-posting this important survey from Move to End Violence .
This is relevant to the ClassCrits VIII conference this past October at University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Law, where thought-provoking discussion and presentations emphasized the multidimensional nature of the problems of both domestic violence and police violence.
By Sandra Park, Donna Coker, and Julie Goldscheid
The shooting deaths by police of unarmed African-American men and the violent treatment of Sandra Bland have focused national attention and outrage on the problem of police racial bias and brutality. A new national survey finds that the same kind of police bias often affects police responses to sexual assault and domestic violence.
Over 900 advocates, service providers, and attorneys who work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence responded to a national survey regarding policing and domestic and sexual violence. Responses from the Field: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Policing describes what they shared with us.
Advocates identified police inaction, hostility, and bias against survivors as a key barrier to seeking criminal justice intervention. Eighty-eight percent (88%) said that police sometimes or often do not believe victims or blame victims for the violence. Over 80% of respondents believed that police relations with marginalized communities influenced survivors’ willingness to call the police. Respondents told us that many police are biased against women of color, immigrant women, and poor women. They are biased against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender survivors. They are biased against young survivors of sexual assault, believing that rape is really just “regret sex.” They are biased against sex workers and those who suffer drug addiction. Continue reading