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News + PoliticsSF once again fails women who report sexual assault

SF once again fails women who report sexual assault

Ronen asks: Why have the cops done nothing since 2021 on allegations by three women that they were assaulted by Jon Jacobo?

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There are many appalling elements to the Jon Jacobo story, including the fact that this is the first time all of these horrifying allegations are seeing the light of day.

Among the most disturbing: It appears that the San Francisco Police Department has once again failed to support women who report sexual assault.

Sup. Hillary Ronen wants to know why the agency she helped create is failing at its job.

From the SF Standard story:

The Standard has since learned that three women filed police reports against Jacobo in the months following Perigo’s public rape accusation. In a series of interviews, the women detailed disturbing allegations against Jacobo that range from stalking, harassment and threats to domestic violence, strangulation, sexual assault and rape, which formed the basis for their police reports.

This was three years ago.

One of the women told The Standard that the cops never even called her to follow up.

Back in 2018, our reporter Bianco Rosen did a big expose on how San Francisco is failing survivors of sexual assault:

In 2016, the vast majority of adult sexual assaults in San Francisco went uninvestigated or prosecuted. According to a list I generated through SF Open Data, there were 757 reports of adult sexual assault that year. When I asked the Police Department directly, the number they gave me was 694.

But even using SFPD’s number, out of the 694 reports of adult sexual assault, 297 — or 43 percent — were investigated, 91 — or 13 percent — were referred to the D.A.’s office, 11 adult and child sexual assault cases, or 1.6 percent, went to trial, and nine, or 1.3 percent, resulted in a guilty verdict. These numbers are staggering but sadly typical in terms of historical patterns and trends that persist across the country.

Sexual assault affects all of us. It’s a tool of oppression, and trauma is the lasting stain of this inequality. Trauma is like a weed that finds a way to grow into every crack of social, economic, and political life, impeding people from flourishing into their authentic, joyful selves. In the movement to end sexual assault, the first and fundamental step that we need to take is supporting survivors. It starts with helping them in their journey of healing, which for some is pursuing legal justice.

Sup. Hillary Ronen was deeply disturbed by the situation, and after hearings and research, created a new agency to oversee the city’s response to sexual assault and sexual harassment:

SHARP would, under Ronen’s plan, be in charge of receiving and resolving survivors’ complaints about how city agencies responded to their assault, holding those city agencies accountable, and working with community-based organizations to expand their sexual violence prevention efforts.

Last year, after Sup. Catherine Stefani’s ballot measure created an Office of Victim Services, SHARP was supposed to move into that office. But under the Breed Administration, nothing has happened.

“It’s completely failed,” Ronen told me tonight.

Ronen said she was shocked and horrified to read that three cases reported to police have languished for three years. “I called the chief Tuesday and asked him about it, and he promised to call me back that afternoon, and I still haven’t heard a thing,” she said.

“This is the whole reason that SHARP exists, this is what it’s supposed to do,” she said. “When women are ignored or dismissed, this is the agency that is supposed to help.

“We are going to have to reimagine SHARP or dismantle it and create something new,” she said. “This situation is unacceptable.”

If you are the survivor of sexual assault and need help, you can contact SF Women Against Rape here.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

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