Across the U.S., we are rightly tasking police with the duty to intervene when they witness colleagues’ misuse of force. There is another police violence epidemic that urgently requires intervention: officer-involved sexual & domestic violence. Rape culture is engrained in police culture. In the male-dominated field, traditional attitudes have skewed toward accepting a certain degree of inherent sexism in the ranks. On or off-duty misconduct, facilitated by the presence of a badge and weapon, is an exploitation of authority and power, whether it is in the workplace, interaction with the public, or at home, and colleagues may not feel it is their place to intervene. When those responsible for investigating sexual & domestic violence become the perpetrators – in an environment where little is done to curb rape culture – what recourse do victims/survivors have?
From sexual harassment and assault within the workplace to domestic violence off-duty, to officers preying on vulnerable populations and survivors in the reporting process, sexual violence comes down to abuse of power. We need to shift the paradigm, making officers who act in accordance with rape culture the outliers.
As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:
- Recognize behaviors and traits that are indicators of officer-involved sexual violence.
- Create a department culture that prioritizes wellness and supports officers who report.
- Examine strategies to address these behaviors in colleagues and the officers who seek help for these behaviors.
- Explore how officer-involved sexual violence erodes community trust and damages the investigations.