Tag Archives: sexual exploitation

The Story Behind Sketch of a Murder

No matter how dark
In 2013, I wrote Sketch of a Murder, Book 1, Special Crimes Team. I write novels that have been ripped from the lives of women.
Sketch of a Murder exposes the horrendous truths around the #sexual #assault of women and children in the United States. Perpetrators often walk away from prosecution and justice.Even those who are convicted may only serve three years for forcible rape.
Many victims do not report sexual assault.
–They fear the perpetrator will return and harm them. Something that perpetrators often threaten to do.
–The victim does not want to make a private matter public. This is especially true if the perpetrator is a boyfriend, a husband or ex-husband, even someone they simply met and had a drink with.
–The victim is worried that she will be blamed for what happened or that she will not be believed. This is frequently the case when victims actually follow through with prosecution. They are questioned about their sexual histories, why they were in that particular place at that specific time, and so forth. Some cops grill women and girls who report rape in much the same aggressive and offensive manner. Women are often told it is their own fault that they were assaulted.
–The girl or woman feels ashamed and/or feels guilty and/or is embarrassed. A strong element of personal shame, guilt and embarrassment for the victim is a factor in every sexual assault crime.
There have even been public debates about whether the crime of #rape actually exists or if it is an “attempt by women and girls to gain special privileges.”
As a past victim of the violence of attempted rape–12 attempts during my life–I understand the well-founded hesitation of women and girls to subject themselves to the process of attempting to prosecute the perpetrator.
One of the attempts on me included the perpetrator’s use of a straight razor. When I reported that crime, the police took me to the station and after leaving me to “stew” in a room alone they finally came in and aggressively questioned what I had been doing walking around alone after dark.
I finally lashed out and told one detective that “I have the right to walk where and when I please; the attempted rapist is the one who should not be allowed freedom to walk around the city.”
In response to my declaration, one detective openly questioned whether or not a crime had actually occurred.
I held up my hand and sarcastically said, “I’m not into self-mutilation. I did not slash my own hand open.”
Is it any wonder that rape is the most UNDER reported crime in the United States?
In Sketch of a Murder, I bring these stats to life. The Avenger, a serial killer who stalks and tortures men who have skated justice, sets up a Court of God’s Justice and questions the men about their crimes and then hands down “justice”.
The “reasoning” put forth by the perpetrators is, unfortunately, all too indicative of the thought processes of males involved in rape. In my other life, I have listened to such men give those arguments about how it’s not their fault and besides, the girl/woman “asked for it.” (Yes, those were the words used by one man).
And what of law enforcement–the real good people; the ones who want the rapists to pay for their crimes? In Sketch of a Murder I explore the dilemma faced by law enforcement officers who must stop a killer whose mission they may secretly applaud.
Just to give you some idea about the enormity of the crime of rape below are some statistics. Please,keep in mind that rape is a seriously UNDER REPORTED crime:
—67% of sexual assault victims are under 18. More than half of this number are under 12 years old.
—95% of rapists are male
In the state of Washington, First Degree Rape is considered a Class A Felony–the worst felony possible under law, yet a rapist may only get three years in prison for forcibly raping a woman or a child. A person is guilty of First Degree rape when such a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion where the perpetrator or an accessory:
—uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or what appears to be a deadly weapon or
—kidnaps the victim or
—inflicts serious physical injury including but not limited to physical injury which renders the victim unconscious or
—feloniously enters into a building or vehicle where the victim is situated.
In Washington State, a rapist who is convicted of Class A Felony rape may sue for and receive access to the any child produced by his violent act; thereby allowing him future access to his victim’s life, and a future way to manipulate, control, and emotionally and physically harm his victim.
In Washington State in 2013 there were 13,442 primary victims of sexual assault and 6,252 secondary assault victims.
33% of women in Washington State have been sexually assaulted. And, 20% of this number have been the victims of multiple assaults by different offenders.
Only 25% of the women who suffered physical injuries sought medical assistance and only 33% sought counseling. (I was never one of those who sought medical assistance or counseling. I simply could not afford it. Fortunately, I was raised in a matriarch where rape was considered a crime of violence–rightfully so–and the rapist was the only one blamed.)
Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 MINUTES
43% of lesbian and bisexual women, and 30% of gay and bisexual men reported having experienced sexual assault.
34% of Native American and Alaskan Native women experienced an attempted or completed rape
19% of African American women have experienced an attempted or completed rape
18% of Caucasian women have experienced an attempted or completed rape
7% of Asian American women have experienced an attempted or completed rape
83% of adult females and 32% of the adult males who are developmentally disabled have been victims of sexual assault
Disabled women are raped and abused at a rate of at least twice that of the general population of women.
light in darkness

IF you or someone you know has suffered from sexual assault, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! PLEASE go to: http://www.wcsap.org/find-help This website is the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. You will find a list of places to go to for help! PLEASE, make use of these services.
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Book Release Daily #Censorship of Street Harvest!

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Book Release Daily, a site that features new releases, refuses to feature a book that exposes the plight of #missing #children! In Street Harvest, Book 2, Special #Crimes Team series, I wrote about street kids kidnapped by human traffickers. Book Release Daily feels that my book exploits children.

Here are some examples of what is objectionable:

Chapter 4

“Floater down on the waterfront at Ivar’s.” He rubbed a hand back and forth across his short-cropped, kinky hair, a habitual gesture whenever he was frustrated or worried.

As she waited to hear the rest of what brought him to her office door, she wondered if he was even aware of the gesture.

“A boy. Dr. Hutchinson thinks he’s around eleven, maybe twelve.” His lips thinned to a slash.

She knew it was more than a dead kid. The Special Crimes Team might feel bad about a dead kid, but they wouldn’t be involved in the investigation unless it was like little Jane Doe, an obvious victim of a sicker-than-usual pervert. Whatever it was had to be nasty. That was the only type of crimes with which they dealt. The crimes that made veteran cops question their choice of career. Hell, being in SCaT even had her sometimes questioning her career choice, though she didn’t know what she would be if she wasn’t a cop.

A bone-deep sadness shadowed Mike’s black-brown eyes. “He was naked. There were several rings of bruises around the boy’s neck. Bite marks on the backs of his shoulders.”

Her insides twisted into knots. Another one. She shut down her laptop, stuffed it in the middle desk drawer, and locked it. With her cane in hand, she pushed to her feet, grabbed her jacket, and headed for the door. “Damn it! I was hoping little Jane Doe was just the random victim of some perv gone too far.”

Without replying, Mike stepped into the hallway and waited for her to lock up. As they headed to the elevator at the end of the corridor she noticed how heavily he moved, like an old man

God, he’s not that old, probably around my dad’s age. Quickly she shut down that line of thought. She refused to give a moment’s consideration to the man who had deserted her when she was just eleven, and right after Chelsea’s death. There had been a time when she wondered if her father had left because of Chelsea’s death, if he blamed her as much as she blamed herself.

Forcefully, she returned her mind to the present.

No, Mike wasn’t that old, but the day little Jane Doe’s body had shown up, the years had gathered on his face. Focused on the autopsy, he hadn’t noticed her watching as his body had clenched, and his shoulders had hunched up around his ears as if he expected a sudden blow from somewhere. A suspicious sheen had gathered in his eyes. He had glanced around, but she’d pretended to be intent on the small body on the stainless steel table. From the corner of her eye, she’d seen him swipe at his eyes then settle his face into an impassive mask.

Chapter 5

“Are we assuming that all of the children, both missing and dead, are ultimately victims of a #sexual #predator?” Frederick crossed his forearms on the table and leaned on them. His eyes swept around the group until they finally settled on Mike.

Detective O’Hara squirmed in her seat. Her lips twisted like she’d taken a big drink of soured milk. “We know the dead kids are. Jane Doe was raped, sodomized, and tortured. There’s evidence that the rapist used a condom. Prelim report says the boy’s injuries were similar, if not identical. This time the rapist used dropping the body in Puget Sound to get rid of the evidence.” She bit her lip and frowned like she just couldn’t understand the monster they were hunting. “According to Dr. Hutchinson’s report, both children died from asphyxiation after being manually strangled multiple times. There was so much bruising he couldn’t even get a clear size on the handprints. Why would anyone strangle a child one time, much less multiple times?”

“Sexual arousal.” Nita grimaced. “Choke your partner until he, or she, blacks out. Supposedly enhances the sexual high for both parties.”

Mike was glad no one cracked any jokes about the asphyxiation angle. Even cop humor couldn’t dull the anger over what had happened to those two kids. Damn! I’m going to have to get past this or I’m not going to be able to do anyone any good.

Chapter 13

“How did you know it was a police van?” Dr. Nelson asked gently.

“It was black, like they are sometimes, and on the side it had the logo for the Seattle police, and when they threw me inside, there was…there was a heavy wire mesh between the back and the front, like the cages in cop cars.”

“Were there seats?”

He shook his head, and blinked rapidly several times. A tear leaked from one eye and his chin quivered. He pulled in a shaky breath. “They…they took me way out in the woods, to this house. I was…locked…in a room and…” Arms tight around his bent legs, he rocked back and forth.

Grease recounted a string of sexual attacks by men who hid behind Halloween masks. At the end, he sniffed and rubbed his red nose on his jean-clad knee. Forehead dropped to his knees, he sat stiffly, as if he might shatter into jagged shards if he breathed too hard.

“Grease,” Irene waited until the boy raised his red-rimmed eyes to her. “I realize your ordeal has been very painful, but there are a few things we need you to do.”

“Yeah, I know. You wanna poke at me and take pictures and do one of them rape kits, doncha?” Belligerence born of hurt and helplessness and anger ripped the bitter words from the thirteen-year-old’s mouth.

In a soft voice, Irene said, “I would like to examine you to be sure you don’t have unmet medical needs. And, yes, it would be good to have photos, if you can tolerate the invasion of your privacy. If you can’t, we can forgo the photos. A rape kit wouldn’t do us any good. It’s been too long since the last attack on you.”

Well, what do you, the reader, think? Do these examples titillate or in other ways exploit the plight of children? Or do these examples simply make the plight of children real? Leave a comment. I would love to hear!

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