Rape is the most traumatizing thing anyone can ever go through. You are just never the same after it, you have these new found fears that you feel eventually swallow you whole. The last thing a rape victim needs is for someone to be impatient and unsympathetic to their situation. Believe it or not that can scar the victim even more.
A story like this infuriates me. Why do you work for 911 or an emergency service when you obviously do not care about the person or your job? That is the question I asked with this story.
A 911 dispatcher told a distraught woman to ‘quit crying’ after she called to report that she had been raped. The victim called 911 just after 4 a.m. last Sunday. She was staying with a friend at a house just off the Ohio State University campus. The caller said she was woken up by a stranger holding a gun to her head and forcing her to perform sex acts on him.
The distraught woman told the dispatcher that the man broke into the house full of sorority girls and left after assaulting her. He stole cash and an iPhone from the off-campus house for sorority girls at Ohio State University.
The 20-year-old victim ran from the house and called 911 after the attacker left. She said she didn’t know her friend’s address, and asked if the dispatcher could locate where her phone was. “No. We can’t. That’s why I need to know where you are,” the dispatcher said.
The caller described the attacker as a small white male with a white shirt. She asked the police to immediately arrest him. Now this is where a person’s compassion and sympathy would kick in. Instead, the dispatcher told the young woman, “Ma’am, you’re going to have to quit crying so I can get the information from you.”
The dispatcher then asked the rape victim where the attacker came in. The victim answered, “I have no idea. I have no idea. I have no idea. The back door.” The dispatcher then answered, “Well, they’re not going to be able to find him with the information that you’ve given.”
Understandably and justifiably the victim broke down saying, “Don’t you understand how horrified I am? I am a 20-year-old from Upper Arlington. I don’t know what you deal with every day, but the kind of sympathy you have is zero.”
The police have charged Michael Callaghan, 30, with rape and burglary in relation to the attack on the woman.
A 911 supervisor said that the dispatcher could have handled the call better and will review the call. However, he will not reprimand the dispatcher since the victim has been helped and a suspect has been charged.
My heart truly goes out for this young woman.