The Sexist

Groping Victim: A Prompt Assault Report Does Not Guarantee A Prompt Police Response

In response to the commenter who thought that her story perpetuated the "myth" that sexual assault victims are too traumatized to report their assaults promptly to police, Fairfax groping victim Emily Ruskowski wants to clarify that she did report her grope to police promptly after her 1 a.m. assault—and was told to wait until the next morning to file a report.

After Ruskowski was groped by a stranger in a Falls Church Metro parking garage last September, she attempted to report her grope to police as soon as she could get to safety. In fact, she contacted two different police departments on the night of the attack, but because of strange jurisdictional issues, wasn't able to file an actual report until the next day. Here's what happened:

I drove out of the garage, got home, (I didn't think driving while on the phone and shaking was a good idea) and called the Fairfax and Falls Church Police, who all said to call Metro Police the next day. So I did report it right away, but was told to talk to someone else the next day. Fairfax said I lived outside of their jurisdiction so they wouldn't send cops to my house to make a statement, and Falls Church said the metro wasn't their jurisdiction.

She adds: "Just wanted to be able to respond to the commenters who admonished me for not calling the police right away. Take that, commenters!"

  • kza

    Step up and get PWND!

  • LeftSidePositive

    Just goes to show how insidious victim-blaming can be: "She should have done this" and "she should have done that," while being completely ignorant of the situation at hand, and failing to acknowledge that law-enforcement doesn't even have the infrastructure to do their part to make "what she should do" effective anyway.

  • Tod

    Typical government response. Not OUR job. Pass the buck. Not OUR jurisdiction. Transfer your call until you get frustrated and just give up.
    Essentially they hand over Metro to any criminal who can deduce the parking garage is no ones responsibility (other than Metro Tranist Police, and we ALL know how effective Metro is at its performance.)

  • EmilyRuskowski

    Wait, let's not bash the police here. I responded not to trash the police response, but to correct an ignorant commentor. I never once said I was traumatized, and I resent being called emotionally fragile. The commentor suggested that I should have stayed in the garage, alone (even though my assailant was on foot in the immediate area)and called 911 from my car. My point was that I was considering my safety in leaving the garage and getting to a safe place, and I can't imagine the police would admonish me for removing myself from a dangerous situation. In fact, one of the Metro Police detectives met me at the courthouse and helped me get my restraining order against the assailant.

  • Gabbi

    I've been flashed and groped in Falls Church. I told the proper authorities and, since I was a minor at the time, there were police cars patrolling the area I got flashed for about a month (I doubt this would've happened if I were an adult). They never caught him.

    Even if you do tell the cops, this isn't like CSI where they get a semen sample and go into a database. Creeps get away with this all the time. It's horrible having your power stripped away from you and never having justice.