Police scaring sex victims

VICTIMS of sexual offences often felt intimidated by the line of police questioning, Karen Tomlinson said yesterday.

The Rockhampton Rape, Incest and Sexual Violence Centre co-ordinator called for the city's police to be better educated to deal with victims of rape and other sexual offences.

Critical questions about whether the victim was drinking or what they were wearing were inappropriate during the initial report, she said.

"A lot of victims of these offences come to us after they have been to the police just so they can heal,'' she said.

A spokesperson from Rockhampton Police said police are well trained to deal with victims of sexual offences, but would not give an official comment.

Yet, the main problem with the justice system, Ms Tomlinson said, was people did not have a true understanding of why sexual offences occured.

"Rape is about power and control,'' she said.

"Nobody has the right to force their desires on anyone else.''

Rape and sexual offences are a major part of police work and she said police need to be more sensitive to victims' feelings.

"I know police want these crimes reported, but they may not appreciate the strength it takes for these people to come forward,'' she said.

"Respecting a person's privacy should be a high priority.



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