Unfortunately, in my line of work, I deal with cases where the victim has not survived. Recently though, I had the rare opportunity to meet and speak with a victim who had survived rape. As I spoke with her, I could see the fear in her eyes and could sense the desperation in her words; she wanted nothing more than for me to catch the man who had taken so much from her.
I only got to spend a few minutes with the victim, but I assured her that my co-workers and I would work feverishly to apprehend her assailant as soon as possible. As much as she wanted us to catch him, she didn't seem hopeful that we could. When I left her apartment that evening I felt that I owed her everything I had in me to find the man who attacked her.
My hunt for the perpetrator lasted through the entire night and my team and I put everything we had into tracking him down. Ten hours later we finally found him in a local bar speaking with another woman who could very well have been his next victim. We arrested him on the spot and transported him back to the station for questioning.
On our way downtown, what struck me most was how confused this guy was about why he was in handcuffs. I hadn't mentioned the reason for his arrest, but after a few minutes of silence he finally said, "So that's it huh? A woman cries rape and you automatically believe her and arrest me." This was quite a telling statement since there had been no prior mention of rape. He then asked me if he could call his mother, which made me smirk.
As tired as I was after the 16 hours my team and I had put in, the day had been extremely rewarding. Before I left the precinct, I asked the lead detective on the case to make sure that he called the victim as soon as possible in hopes that the news might allow her to get some much-needed sleep that night.
On my drive into work each morning, I never really know what my day will entail. Each night, however, my drive home is always the same - a range of emotions. As happy as I was that day for catching the perpetrator, it saddens me to realize that people like this man exist in the world. I do my part to help, but there is a part of me that wishes somehow that my job wasn't even necessary.
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