CALL 911. Calling the police and reporting the crime should always be your first response; family and friends can be notified later. If safety is an issue, quickly get yourself to a secure location and call the police immediately.
Harassment and Threats
If you have been harassed and/or threatened by a neighbor, coworker, family member or stranger, be sure to notify the police as soon as possible. Save any voicemail, answering machine or text messages you receive and keep a log of all incidents. Involving the police from the start could keep the situation from escalating, and reports filed earlier documenting harassment can provide essential evidence later on.
Your Body is the Crime Scene
If you have been physically assaulted in any way, do not shower, bathe, change clothing or clean up the location. Remember that what you’re wearing and where you are is evidence used to investigate and prosecute your attacker.
Don’t Keep Secrets from the Police
If you believe you have been attacked because of your sexual orientation, perceived orientation, gender or gender identity expression, it’s important to give this information to the officer taking the report. Your sexual or gender identity (actual or perceived) is often a vital clue the police need to investigate the attack. Be sure to tell the officers you believe the crime may be bias motivated.
As in other government sectors, law enforcement agencies are enduring budget and labor cuts; the same amount of work is being processed by a smaller number of people. So it’s important you remain actively connected to your case. You can and should ask for a copy of the police report, and make sure you have the badge number of the reporting officer. This will make following your case less time consuming and frustrating.
Justice Takes Time
It’s not like a TV show. Investigating and prosecuting crime takes more than an hour. Law enforcement officials receive extensive and ongoing training to help keep our city safe. While there are “urban legends” regarding the LGBTQ community and the police, we can’t allow that history to distort the present. You have every right and reason to expect your interaction with the police to be one of respect and professionalism. If not, Community Safe Zone can help.