On September 1st, in a nice, quiet neighborhood in Saratoga Springs, a woman in her 20s was violently raped. She was treated at Saratoga Hospital and released, and according to police an investigation is "ongoing". Getting past how incredibly frightening this is and how horrible it is for the victim, the other thing that scares me is that I just heard about this. Today. In this article by Dennis Yusko published in the Times Union on Monday. You can blame me for not seeing it before. The Saratogian apparently reported on it on September 19th, saying this:
Saratoga Springs police confirmed Wednesday that the department is investigating a rape that occurred on the city’s east side on Sept. 1.
Assistant Chief Greg Veitch would not confirm many details because the investigation is ongoing, but said the rape occurred at about 5 a.m. in a residential neighborhood.
He said the description of the suspect does not match the description of a man who sexually assaulted two women on the city’s west side last summer.
I heard they reported on it the day after in a small article, but I can't find it. What I want to know is, why wasn't there an alarm sounded, something along the lines of "THERE IS A VIOLENT RAPIST ON THE LOOSE"? This is a college town, there are bound to be tons of young women walking home late at night, yet as far as I have heard, there was no big warning. Besides college aged women, there are women and girls of all ages out jogging, alone, walking home, alone, walking their dogs, walking with children, women at risk. Is it wrong to think that this should have been front page news?
I love Saratoga. You all know that. And there are so many incredible things we have here. I don't think we are immune to crime, especially with all of the different components of our unique city. But, I do think that this is incredibly under reported. I commend the victim for reporting this rape, because many women do not. But I still think there needs to be MORE media attention on this. More awareness. More noise, more outrage, more something. More talk about it.
First off, there is a violent rapist at large. He may or may not live in our city, we don't know that. But, is there a description the police can tell us about? Some sort of information besides there was a rape on this day at this time at this place? Can they also share some tips on how to stay safe? I don't know why they haven't, I don't know why there isn't more of an alarm, but what I want to do is share some tips, some facts, and raise awareness here. What I DO NOT want is this to turn into finger pointing. That's not why I'm writing this. I don't want it to turn into a "Oh she's saying the police/media/etc. are doing a bad job". I'm not. I just want there to be more awareness of this. I just want this to be a safer city for everyone.
Remember, rape is never the victim's fault. No one consents to a rape, and no one willingly cooperates with a rapist.
If you are a victim, here are some resources to get help:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 800.656.HOPE
- Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County Domestic Violence Hotline: 584-8188 and Rape Crisis Hotline: 587-8188
Sadly, according to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, out of 100 rapes, only 3 rapists will actually spend any time in jail.
Here, as a community, we all need to speak up, to keep each other aware. This isn't the first violent rape that has happened in our community even in the past few years. Have you heard about the others? Is it being adequately reported and investigated? I'll let you answer those questions yourself.
I DO think this needs to be reported on MORE. I do think the police need to be alerting the community to these crimes, and providing us with all the information they can to help protect us. And we all need to be outraged at this. These are our streets, where we live, where our children play, go to school. This is our community. This crime is an ugly, horrific incident, which we all need to be aware of. This deserves more than a blurb on a back page. This is not something to be brushed under the rug. Talk about it. Be aware of it.
***Click here for an update, including a description. According to this article, information was not released in order to "protect the ongoing police investigation and not cause unnecessary panic". They said the suspect was a Hispanic male about 6 feet tall with a medium build, and Lt. John Catone said the victim bit the left hand of the suspect. Maybe they could have included this in a description that should have been released in a timely manner? I would not have panicked if I had been informed of this in a timely manner. I would have been INFORMED. I'm a grown woman, I don't need to be protected from panicking. What I do need, and deserve, is information.