Too Little, Too Late?

Too little effort from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is going in to responding to sex crimes in Chicago according to a new report from the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE).

Today we sit down with Madeline Behr, Policy Manager, at CAASE to discuss a report she authored titled “Too Little, Too Late? The CPD’s Response to Sex Crimes”.

The report contained some startling statistics to back up CAASE’s claims that the CPD is doing far too little to respond to sex crimes. Here are couple of those statistics:

  • 80-90% of sexual harm reports to the CPD over the past 10 years did not result in an arrest.
  • 10-20% of survivors that saw an arrest in their case often had to wait weeks or months from the time of their assault to when their assailant was detained.

The failures by the CPD are strongly correlated with the media’s failures on covering the issue. The Chicago media pays far too little attention to these crimes unless they can be exploited for clicks, scare their audience, or drive a political agenda. This is exactly what we found in our 2013 study of violence against women coverage in the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times. You can find that study here.

Behr and I discuss a range of issues spurred by the findings of her report including how survivors are exploited by those wishing to derail discussions about defunding the police and standing up alternative responses to problems in our communities.

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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