Something to consider... I understand the intent of this post, but, I would like to make you aware of something.
Yes, when some crimes occur, police sometimes come and help with the immediate needs, coincidently by contacting other agencies (medics, court, social services).
That is absolutely not enough.
I doubt you will find many police officers who tell you that they didn’t wish more services were available to assist them. As a hotline advocate I have had that conversation with police countless times.
When we say defund the police, we are not saying no police. We are saying we need to increase the community and social services so that the police are both not needed as much and can link victims to support when they are.
I have worked well over 20 yrs with victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking, child abuse, and homelessness.
I can tell you that when you find out your two year old (or any child) has been raped and call the police, they may come to take a report, but, they call the Department of Social Services and Children’s Advocacy Centers to help the parent and child. Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support.
Human trafficking, child abuse and neglect is handled, or mishandled, the same way.
When someone struggles with addiction, arrest is momentary and a temporary solution to one tiny piece of the problem. The person struggling with addiction, and their victims, need medical care, counseling, and community support. Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support.
Let’s sit all that aside. Let’s say the most important thing is an officer showing up and arresting someone. Please know that even if the offender is arrested, they are most often released at some point, usually immediately, by the court system. When that happens, the victim needs safe housing or a shelter, free legal support, counseling, etc... Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support.
I speak from deeply personal experiences...
as a child who was abused,
a woman who many times laid beaten and bloody on the floor,
a foster parent of children abused and neglected,
an advocate for victims of domestic violence,
sexual assault, and
I say that as someone who has lived and worked with all of these scenarios intimately. It is not a news report, case number, or social media post. It is my 3 am panicked wake ups, my tears while speaking to that Mama who’s child has been raped, my frantically seeking services for victims from agencies who have exhausted their resources and cannot help them.
We, they, don’t need more police. We, they, need social services and community supports to both prevent and respond.
Wanna check me on any of this....pick a scenario, any of them, and contact who you think is helping.