Madison Wisconsin Common Council Apologizes and Pays Restitution to a Rape Survivor Who Was Subjected to Unethical Police Methods

26 11 2006

Council Approves $35,000 In Restitution To Rape Victim

Resolution Passed 15-2

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Common Council voted Tuesday night to pay restitution to a woman who was raped in 1997.The woman — known only as “Patty” — temporarily recanted her story after Madison police in 1997 said they didn’t believe her, and investigators pressured her through what she said were unethical methods.

A few weeks ago, Madison Police Chief Noble Wray received a standing ovation from the Common Council after apologizing to Patty on behalf of the Madison Police Department.

Tuesday’s resolution now gives the city a chance to apologize to Patty.The resolution gives $35,000 to Patty for legal fees and lost wages. The money comes from the 2006 operating budget.The resolution also seeks the creation of a new police policy that will handle sensitive crimes.

On Tuesday night, a number of advocates for sexual assault victims addressed the council, thanking them and urging them to vote yes.The council passed the resolution 15-2 but not without some debate over the monetary compensation.”The $35,000 is a problem to me because I heard two people speak of three rape victims that I think could come back and say, ‘You owe me money as well,'” said Alder Judy Compton.But Alder Austin King said the money makes the apology a meaningful gesture.”The resolution is about a sincere and meaningful apology that goes beyond just saying we’re sorry and proving it. And so part of that is making Patty financially whole from the debt she has from lost wages and legal fees, but it is also to show that we are serious it will never happen again,” King said.

With the passing of the resolution, Wray will also have the chance to make recommendations on police policies. The Madison police chief will have 90 days to make his recommendations to the Common Council.The council on Tuesday also passed an emergency contraception resolution, which will require pharmacists to give notification to customers if they are out of emergency contraception or don’t carry it.

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2 responses

18 12 2006
krista

They should give Patty no less then 100,000.00. I can’t even imagine what this women’s life must have been like, to have been violated like she was and then have so many people basically call her a liar and refuse to help her. I don’t even now how all the people who turned their backs on Patty can sleep at night, I hope what they did to her haunts them for some time.

23 12 2006
Rita Meyer

Krista, you are lucky to to say you can’t imagine what Patty went through. When I was kidnapped, beaten and gang raped back in 1978, my mother placed the blame on me, the hospital did do an examination and I was interview by the police. The outcome was nothing happened to my abductors and my life was ruined for many years to come. Mine was a case of me having the blame placed squarely on me. In Patty’s case, she was not beleived (as so many others have faced). In my case, I was blamed. This happened in Denver, Co.

Today, I am recovered and, along with my husband, give lectures, speeches, help and hope to those who feel they have none.

Yes, the amount to money awarded may or may not be enough. In anyone’s case, it is the healing that is important. At least the chief of police had the strength with respect to apologizing to Patty. It’s not the money. It’s the words and knowing someone beleives and cares. Patty, we care and I understand.

Come visit me on my website. Email me and let us form friendships unlike no other. Turn your traumatic experience into something powerful. I am out there helping others but I can’t do it alone. I need your help also. Love to all, Rita

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