Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Say It Ain't So!!!
Well my friends, while my love affair with Law and Order: SVU has certainly not come to an end, I was met with a harsh dose of reality today. The show is not very true to the real life "criminal justice system for sexually based offenders." I know you are shocked, SHOCKED!!! "TV not real life?! But it can't be!" you think. But it's true. I'm taking this class to be a certified sexual assault counselor. Basically, this means when survivors go to the hospital, you're there to be their advocate and support for what is a really traumatic experience. Or, you answer the phone on the crisis hotline so people can call in and you can talk them through whatever's going on--the class is super interesting. Well, today we had a law enforcement officer come in and she was talking to us about how long it takes to prosecute sexual assault cases--turns out it's like one to three years, not an hour as in the case of L&O:SVU. And Olivia and Elliott are not spending all of their time on one case--it turns out real cops have about 60 cases that they are working on at one time, so it's really difficult to even find time to get search warrants and follow up. DNA evidence can take up to 6 months to get back to even try to prosecute someone--as in M.E. Warner does not have DNA back to the detectives in 20 minutes. Obviously, I'm being facetious with the fact that I'm shocked that L&O:SVU isn't true to life, but I suppose the biggest thing that perturbs me is just how long it takes victims of these crimes to get justice...I can't imagine what that would feel like to have your perpetrator walking around for 1-3 years, and then be put away for only a short sentence (ummm yeah like only a few years...REALLY?!). Sigh. I guess justice takes time.