SPD Officer On How Sexual Harassment And Assault Is Handled

Written by: Calla Camp

SPD Officer On How Sexual Harassment And Assault Is Handled

Clark Chase, a police officer at Seattle Police Department, has helped people by investigating their reports of sexual harassment for more than 30 years. Chase has worked with many types of sexual harassment incidents including LGBTQIA+ sexual harassment, and child sexual harassment. Chase often acts as their advocate and gets info at their pace but is not pushy when they are giving him the story. Clark listens at first and takes every bit of info at a time and makes sure they’re comfortable. He’s there for them and is very empathetic about the reports.

Some states/cities don’t take the reports very seriously and it is very difficult to get the victim to be able to press charges on the person who sexually harassed/assaulted that victim. As we were talking about how other states and cities handle sexual harassment and assault reports he also added, “I think they need to get rid of their personal bias and some cities have horrible sexual harassment and assault laws so it’s really hard because it doesn’t help much.” Chase also said, “Seattle has great laws against sexual harassment and sexual assault, which when I tell people that who reported to me, they seem calmer and more comfortable while they are explaining to me what happened” 

Chase also talked about how he defines sexual harassment and assault. He said, “Sexual harassment is any unwanted touch or remarks that are inappropriate and sexual in a workplace or other professional or social situation.” Then he said that sexual assault is “attempted rape, fondling, unwanted sexual touching or attention, and forcing the victim to have sexual intercourse with them.” 

During this interview, we talked about many things but the way he talked about how your gender really can shape you. He said, “The problem of sexual harassment in this country is that it is very sexist, when a woman reports sexual harassment or assault, they are often blamed because a lot of the time, we go by rules and  a system more where males define the rules for most things in this country.” He also added “Men often feel like they are in the power, meaning if men want it, women need to satisfy them in some way and if they don’t then that gives the male the right to do whatever they want to do to the women who didn’t satisfy that man. Women have every right to fight back and keep themself safe. Nobody can tell them who they have to be.” 

Chase is an amazing police officer and many people admire him. He is a person who believes that “gender shouldn’t decide who gets to touch you and people don’t get to choose who you get to be.” He believes that LGBTQIA+ should be something “that is celebrated not ashamed”.  “You get to be who you want to be. Nobody gets to tell you what you should be. You get to control your body and who gets to touch you. No means no and stop means stop. You should always report to someone when someone makes you uncomfortable or if someone touches you in places that you don’t want to be touched. Never feel like you can’t tell someone something, it isn’t your fault that someone touched you so you will never be in trouble when you report so always report something when someone makes you feel uncomfortable.”

By: Calla Camp