SFPD Criticized for treatment of sexual assault survivors

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Survivors of sexual assaults are coming forward to denounce the treatment they have gotten from the San Francisco Police Department after filing a report. Supervisor Hillary Ronen invited them to city hall to hear their claims and find solutions.

"The monster that raped me is still out there," cried Tiffany Tonel, a survivor.

"Unlike many victims who are drugged and raped, I remember being raped, " said a women who called herself Jane Doe.

One by one, survivors of sexual assault told their stories to a committee led by San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen. Just as distressing was the response, they say, they received from the Special Victims Unit within the San Francisco Police Department.

"For the police to insinuate that somehow it was my fault that maybe I had forgotten that I consented, it's absurd," said Jane Doe.

"And many victims have described this to me as being worse than the rape itself, expressed Jane Manning with Women's Justice Now, an advocacy group based in New York City.

At Wednesday's hearing it was revealed that data collected at San Francisco General Hospital found that from 2016 to 2017 there was a 20 percent increase in the number of sexual-assault patients coming to General, yet the number of arrests or even prosecutions had not gone up during that same period.

During the hearing Supervisor Ronen asked commander Greg McEachern from the police department what he was going to do once he left the hearing room to make sure survivors felt heard.

"I'm going to discuss with the chief and he's aware of it, we've had these discussions in the past where we can do better as a department similar to the reforms that we are in, we are about getting better as an agency and the service we provide to the community, said McEachern.

The police department also said it recently started to form partnerships with advocacy groups to better serve survivors.

The District Attorney's Office also publicly apologized Wednesday to the women.

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