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Shattering Perceptions About Rape

May 31, 1990

Dianne Klein's Commentary, "Shattering the Silence on Rape" (May 24), was outstanding. Again, however, an "authority" on rape has alluded to men's insensitivity to rape victims by stating, and thereby reinforcing, the perception that, "a lot of men are . . . very uncomfortable talking about rape . . . see the woman as having been dirtied . . . it was her fault . . . they are damaged goods." I am offended by (counselor) Marlene Phillips' statement.

I state categorically that among my friends and acquaintances, with men whom I meet while traveling or socially, I have yet to hear a man describe a rape victim in terms other than those of sorrow, frustration, sympathy; the perpetrator as anything but an SOB; and the act as anything but pure, unadulterated savagery.

While I'm on the subject: In 30 years as a police officer, I have never seen an officer regard the victim of a rape except as the victim of the most horrendous crime, short of murder. Believe it or not, policemen do take their badges off. And when they do, they become fathers of daughters, husbands of wives and brothers of sisters.

JOHN A. McALLISTER

Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department (Ret).

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