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Police Sexual Violence: Police Brutality, #MeToo, and Masculinities

A woman alleges that she was raped by a police officer while in police custody. The police officer acknowledges that he had sexual intercourse with the woman but argues that she consented to the interaction. Despite the clear power imbalance and troubling context of the sexual activity, in a majority of U.S. states, if the police officer convinces even one member of a jury that their activity was consensual, then the officer cannot be convicted. Consent is a defense to allegations of sexual assault—even when the alleged assault occurs while the victim is in the custody of the perpetrator. Allegations that police officers have committed sexual assault while on duty are shockingly prevalent and surprisingly underanalyzed. Police sexual violence (PSV) is situated at the intersection of two vital national conversations about police brutality and sexual violence and harassment. This report addresses PSV as the product of both issues and recommends systemic solutions sounding in both debates.

Read the full report here.

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