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posted: 7/16/2014 5:01 AM

Empathy for victims of sexual assault

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I was robbed by three large young men. They approached me after I was leaving a wake. They demanded that I give them my wallet. They did not hurt me, but they threatened to hurt me, and considering their size I was not going to call their bluff. They took my cash, left the credit cards and fled.

When I reported the crime to the police they victim-blamed me. They said the expensive suit I was wearing made me a target for a mugging.

When the police eventually captured the muggers, they claimed that I voluntarily gave them my money and denied robbing me. The cops asked me if I had a history of giving money to strangers. I admitted that I did. Occasionally I would give a few dollars to a homeless person on the street, or a guy selling "StreetWise." I had also been known to give money to guys offering to clean my windshield at offramps.

The cops told me they would not press charges against the muggers because they could not prove I was robbed. I had a history of giving money away strangers and I had no injuries consistent with a robbery. The three guys who robbed me had no criminal records.

Later I found out they were stars of the local football team and came from affluent families. No charges were filed.

This sounds like a ridiculous scenario, but this is what most young women experience when they report sexual assault.

John Morgan

Arlington Heights

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