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The Pitch

We are not safe here. Silicon Valley, 2007.
The Pitch

Two women seeing the awkward hanging sheet
Blocking the door at a party
Knocked and the door was opened ajar
The man at the door said
"You girls don't know what is going on here
Get the fuck out of here."
On a soiled mattress lay a woman
Her jeans half on
Vomit on her chest
"I'm so sorry"
As she was gang raped by 8 members of
The college baseball team
In the silicon valley 2007.

These young women
Had courage, they went in,
And helped the young girl out
Even though the man at the door
Had yelled
"to get the fuck out of here."

The DA Dolores carr
Turned the case over to Jerry Brown
For review.
She said that she saw nothing
To prosecute,
No trial to prepare,
No jury to assemble
And left with the parting pitch
That bad things happen
When you mix with alcohol.

The women who had helped
The young girl,
Who was only 17
And underage by law
Out of the room
Stopped the silence
And spoke to the news paper.

Batting averages from the DA
Were compared to the police
To the college
To the community.
What is our batting average on rape
Jury participation?
Can we have justices in America
That are not worried about their conviction rates
before trial.
Can we have justice without baseball?

Decidedly they said no.
The sheriff's station who had not really
Done anything more than grill the victim
Over and over
Felt bad.
They said to the women,
We would like you to throw the first pitch
At an all male baseball game
For being community hero's,
Which they are,
And immediately
The local newspaper went into low pitch
Grinding out the low tones
That maybe these girls
Where trying to pitch more than a baseball
But where trying for celebrity status?

This is the real pitch.
This is the baseball game that has taken over America
And turned apple pie into pesticides and DDT related cancers.
It is the same pitch
That allows the college to lift the suspensions of the baseball players,
The pitch that allows
Girls to be gang raped on mattress in college frat houses
The pitch that devalues it citizens
The pitch that rises and falls
Lower and lower till it is hum on the streets
You are not safe here, anymore.

"Portland Shrugs at Rape" - Oregonian 22.Jun.2007 20:39

Marian D

Portland shrugs at rape

As long as Portland remains lax about solving sex crimes, the city will keep giving rapists a free pass to strike again

Oregonian Newspaper
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Portland is full of awfully nice people, including the 9-1-1 operators and patrol officers who respond to victims of sexual assault.

Nice doesn't cut it.

Portland's abysmal record for catching and punishing rapists is an embarrassment to the city, a strike against the Police Bureau and a travesty for crime victims. Mayor Tom Potter and Chief Rosie Sizer must lead the city's transformation to a place where victims of sexual assault have a fighting chance of finding justice.

Right now, Portland gives most rapists a free pass.

The city of Portland has an unusually low rate of solving rape cases, according to a stinging city audit released this week. Its 9-1-1 operators are courteous and competent when they take calls from rape victims, and its patrol officers tend to be highly professional, nonjudgmental and thorough in their response. Yet something seems to be missing from the whole operation.

A sense of urgency, for starters. The community response to sexual assault victims is neither coordinated nor purposeful enough to work effectively for the vast majority of victims.

Portland ranks second-to-last among its peer cities nationwide for solving reported rape crimes, auditors found. Of 21 midsize cities, from Austin and Nashville to Boston and Seattle, Portland rests near the bottom of the heap. What's more, Portland's getting worse over time. It solved only 16 percent of its forcible rape reports in a recent six-year period.

That's particularly awful considering how few victims are willing to go to the police in the first place.

Portland's race toward last place isn't because of too few detectives or too many cases, auditors said. Staffing levels have remained constant in the sex crimes unit, caseloads are average and violent crime is on the decline. The central problem seems to be a Police Bureau that responds to rape at a mosey:

--Cases that don't get assigned for weeks or months.
--Basic investigation techniques that aren't followed.
--Rape victims who get treated more like they got their bikes stolen than their lives overturned.

To be sure, the Portland Police Bureau is only one partner among many. The bureau's success depends on 9-1-1 operators who take calls, hospitals that choose to provide exams, nurses who perform the exams and several other players. All of these partners have room for improvement, as the audit pointed out, and many improvements are underway.

But good law enforcement is critical, so you have to wonder. What kind of a Police Bureau takes a week to call back a teenage rape victim -- plus another several months to assign her case to a detective? What kind of bureau seems to track cases on scratch paper sent through interoffice mail? And what kind of police force allows the status of its sex crimes unit to deteriorate, whether because of inferior working conditions or a general attitude about sexual assault?

This isn't just troubling, as Potter characterized the problem in his official response to the audit. It's a system that somehow fails to capitalize on the staff's many good qualities, then allows rapists to run free.

But Portland LOVES it's female citizens... 25.Jun.2007 02:39

Sixpack wabc@mutualaid.org

I only wish that the Portland police would put one tenth of the effort they expend towards drug-related (meth) arrests...or identity theft...or even "drug free zone" violations, into forcible rape cases.

It looks like protecting monetary assets are more important here than protecting women.

Perhaps if the attackers had been smoking methamphetamines during the assault, they would at least have been sent to prison for SOMETHING! Obviously, JUST sexually assaulting a young woman doesn't get enough attention, although, isn't forcible rape a measure 11 crime?

This article makes me sad, angry and ill at the same time.
Sad that it happened to this young woman---
angry that nothing was done about it---
and ill from realizing that this is what our "pro-social" society has become.