In a previous blog on the issue of sexual misconduct by Police Officers I expressed concern about those women who don’t come forward and actively report their abuser. I cited various reasons as to why women may not speak out including low self-esteem, shame, denial and a general feeling of hopelessness and helplessness as well as a fear of the consequences.
On reflection, there is yet another factor; that of ignorance. Sometimes the victim of Police sexual exploitation may not realise that they have been exploited or may think that because they ‘consented’, they are barred from taking action. I am talking here of victims who have unwittingly been exploited and groomed by a Police Officer and who have actively consented in sexual relations and only weeks, months or years later realised that they were taken advantage of.
- had been the victim of domestic abuse by their husband/long-time partner and were therefore vulnerable individuals.
- were targeted by male Police Officers who were responsible for investigating the domestic abuse and for taking action and providing support to them.
- were initially charmed and flattered, and responded to the apparent care, concern and attention of these ”White Knights” who had been sent to protect them and who had all the power, prestige and trustworthiness of the Police profession behind them.
- voluntarily entered in to a sexual relationship with these male officers only to realise in time that they were being exploited for the Officer’s own sexual gratification.
Clare and Yvonne only came to fully realise that they had been groomed and exploited upon contact from a representative of the Force’s Professional Standards Department that was investigating these officers for trying to instigate or being in a relationship with other female victims of crime and it was only then, that both women realised that they could pursue a claim for compensation.
The impact on both women of this “sexploitation” was that they developed low self-esteem, lack of confidence, loss of trust and emotional pain. The callous behaviour of the Officers towards each of them, had compounded the psychological hurt already inflicted by their previous abusive partners.
I am pleased to report that both Clare and Yvonne either have, or will recover, substantial compensation which in part will fund the cost of therapy.
Over the past year, I have been helping both a radio and television production company who are making programmes to expose the sexual misconduct of serving Police Officers, and I very much hope these projects will raise people’s awareness of this scandal. In the 3 years to March 2019, IOPC received no less than 415 referrals from all Forces for cases involving abuse for a sexual purpose; we well can imagine the number of cases which went unreported, for some of the reasons I have highlighted above.
I currently act for numerous female victims of police exploitation and invite you to contact me via this website if you would like confidential and expert advice in relation to your legal rights, if you have suffered in this way from the predatory behaviour of an Officer.