NOW Demands Mayor & NYPD Commissioner Take Action
NOW-NYC testified at the New York City Council hearing on the findings in the recently released NYC Department of Investigations report which revealed the inadequate handling of rape cases within the NYPD. We joined survivors to provide insightful testimonials on the experiences of reporting a sexual assault to the police and how, when handled improperly, this can be a nightmarish, devastating ordeal for those who just underwent a traumatic event.
After the report’s release, we held a press conference to call on Mayor Bill DeBlasio and the NYPD to provide more trained detectives and funding for the Special Victims Unit (SVU) to investigate sexual assault cases in NYC. The NYC DOI report confirmed what advocates and survivors already knew – the NYPD needs better trained officers in SVU dedicated to solving sex crimes. With a police force of over 50,000 and a city of 8.5 million people, reserving a mere 67 SVU detectives is woefully inadequate. In fact, the caseload for SVU detectives is nearly 30 times higher than for homicide detectives – roughly 85 compared to less than 3.
To make matters worse, the report reveals that the NYPD routinely prioritizes stranger rapes and neglects to investigate acquaintance rapes which represent approximately 85% of all assaults. It states, “the failure to treat acquaintance and domestic rape as crimes on par with stranger rape is unacceptable in modern law enforcement.” It means most sexual assault victims cannot get the justice they deserve and rapists are free to commit more assaults.
The data in the report is being disputed by the mayor and NYPD officials who claim that important officials were not consulted and included in the data collection. However, the data in the report was provided by the NYPD and the number of detectives committed to the department and inadequate conditions of the offices speak for themselves.
Help us take action!
The mayor has vowed to commit more resources if it is deemed necessary. According to the DOI report, the SVU has requested more staff and resources – and has been ignored. We need your help calling on Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner James P. O’Neill to take action NOW.
Email the Mayor’s office here.
Email the Commissioner’s office here.
Read Women’s Justice NOW’s Testimony: Calling for Key Changes to the NYPD’s Special Victim’s Division.
Read the official press release here.
Photo by Sarah Marie Mayo.