What if it was your daughter?


Rebecca Griego

“What if it was your daughter?”

There isn’t a domestic violence or rape survivor who hasn’t asked this question.  So many of us face callous indifference.  We feel like the girl in California who was gang-raped while dozens of bystanders did nothing.  Her story made the headlines, but too many of our stories fall on deaf ears.  Ultimately, we come to get it.  We are merely expendable pawns in a high stakes game.

October was domestic violence awareness month.  Yet, the general public didn’t see much purple.


There are too many people being paid to protect us who are not committed to preventing domestic violence.  Quite frankly, if domestic violence ends, they might loose their cushy positions with their rich benefits packages.  The system works for them.  And, they don’t care if it doesn’t work for us.

Why?  Domestic violence calls are the number one reason people call the cops.  If we did more domestic violence prevention, the frequency of those calls would go down.  And, we wouldn’t need so many cops.

The noon news in Seattle is on now.  The Seattle Police Department is out in full force (pun intended) honoring the life of Officer Tim Brenton who was gunned down while on duty Halloween night.

Ironically, that was the same night that a courageous rape survivor in Louisiana asked her senator David Vitter,“what if it was your daughter?”

The Seattle Police Department is pulling out all the stops to find Officer Brenton’s murderer.  While I can appreciate this, I have to wonder how Rebecca Griego’s family feels.  The Seattle and University of Washington police departments made nothing but excuses when Rebecca Griego desperately needed protection from her pit bull abusive ex-boyfriend Jonathan Rowan.  Their callous indifference to her welfare killed her as much as the bullet from Rowan’s gun.  At the same time, the University of Washington was busy touting their program to protect employees who were experiencing domestic violence and stalking.

I’m thinking about the haunting line in Anna Quindlan’s Black & Blue:  “What are you gonna to do, Fran?  Call the cops?”

And, I’m thinking of all the wives and lovers of abusive cops who get no protection.  When they are assaulted or killed, the blue line surrounds and protects the abusive officer.  Crystal Judson Brame is dead because the people who were being paid to protect her were busy sucking up to her abusive estranged husband David.  He was Tacoma, WA’s chief of police.

So, today as the city of Seattle mourns Officer Brenton, I’m going to mourn all those daughters who didn’t get the protection they deserved from the cops.  And, I’m going to pray for all the women who are today terrified of what the abusive cop in their life will do to them.

We all need to stop and think, “what if is was your daughter?”  And, we need to give off our indifferent behinds.  We need to break down the wall of silence and demand change.   The police force here in Seattle is pulling out all the stops to find Officer Brenton’s murderer.  When it is one of their own, they don’t care about the cost.  But, when it is one of us?  Excuses.  Callous indifference.  We deserve better.  We deserve the same police protection that is being invested in the investigation of Officer Brenton’s murder. 

When we all finally get the protection we deserve from police departments, I’ll join in the mourning of a fallen officer.  Today, however, I’m mourning again for Rebecca and Crystal.  And, I’m remembering the night 17 years ago that the cops came to my home and beat the hell out of me for a judge’s pleasure and enjoyment.

Yes, Officer Brenton was probably a hero.  I feel badly for his wife and children who must miss him terribly.  The husband and father they loved dearly will never come home again.  He died training a female officer who will hopefully remain on the force and protect her sisters.  The media says she acted like a veteran officer rather than a rookie.  She’s a hero too.

One response to “What if it was your daughter?

  1. Pingback: Lakewood, WA: How Many More Murders Will It Take before the Callous Indifference Ends? « Anne Caroline Drake·

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