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Women Will Oversee Sex-Crime Cases in Philadelphia

In the first program of its kind, women's groups such as Women Organized Against Rape and the Women's Law Project will oversee police investigators assessing sexual assault complaints.

This committee of women will oversee police classifications of sexual assault complaints to ensure that statistics are accurate and cases don't get lost in the system.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last year the scandal that city police were not reporting thousands of sexual assault complaints. City police classified sex-crimes cases as "investigation of person" between 1984 and 1997 - thus keeping the cases out of the city's official crime tally.

Carole Johnson, executive director of Women Organized Against Rape, said "Many women believe if police don't report the crime, it doesn't matter. We work for the victims and hopefully that will encourage more victims to come forward."

The Feminist Majority Foundation's National Center for Women & Policing works to promote this type of community policing and also to increase the number of women in law enforcement and to improve police response to domestic violence.

Media Resources: The Associated Press - March 22, 2000, and Feminist Majority Foundation



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