Is sexual abuse a form of police brutality?

woman in handcuffsYes. If an officer sexually abuses you while they are acting in their official capacity as a law enforcement professional, this is considered a type of police brutality. Actions on the part of the officer can include sexual harassment, fondling, oral sex, and rape.

How Sexual Abuse Occurs

Police officers are intimidating, authoritative figures who carry badges and guns. It can be tough to say no to an officer, even if it is clear they are acting outside the scope of their job. Some of the ways they may take advantage of their authority to brutalize citizens include:

  • Targeting victims at routine traffic stops. Police officers might deliberately stop drivers in low-traffic areas to reduce the chance of any witnesses.
  • Making arrests. Victims who are arrested are often in handcuffs and unable to protect themselves.
  • Participating in mentorship programs. There are many reports from young women who are sexually assaulted by officers they trusted.
  • Preying on domestic violence survivors. Victims of domestic violence are often vulnerable to abuse by those they call upon for protection.
  • Targeting drug users. Often police officers will sexually abuse those they believe will not report the incident.

Beyond the Police Report

Because you will likely be filing your complaint at the very police department where the officer works, the process can be scary. The officer assigned to investigate your case is likely a colleague of the person who hurt you, and there is a code of honor within the police to protect the reputation of the department.

It’s essential that you do more than just file a police report. You need an experienced attorney who can help protect your rights. An attorney can help gather evidence to support your case, including:

  • Information from a rape kit
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Relevant video footage
  • Medical records

Damages to which you might be entitled include compensation for medical bills, lost income, physical injuries, and emotional suffering.

Police misconduct is against the law, and if you are sexually abused by an officer, you need an experienced police brutality attorney. Call attorney Ben Crittenden to schedule a consultation.