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Advocates for sexual assault survivors ‘outraged’ by accusations against Cincinnati officer

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Advocates for sexual assault survivors are weighing in after learning that Cincinnati Police Officer Christopher Schroder is accused of shelving rape DNA test results for years.

The allegations against the veteran officer could potentially impact hundreds of cases.

Savannah Roy, an intervention coordinator with the Greater Cincinnati YWCA, thinks the news could be traumatic for survivors of sexual assault and is alarming for advocates.

“Police officers do a lot of good things, but in this situation, I have to say, as someone that works with survivors on a daily basis, I was outraged and shocked that something like this could happen,” Roy said. “There are perpetrators out there who are definitely could be repeat offenders, and more people could have suffered in the community because this wasn’t handled appropriately.”

Roy works to help sexual assault survivors with healing, whether that is by tracking their criminal cases or encouraging them to reach out to resources.

“Like helping them relocate if they need it,” Roy said. “We help them start over if they have to, connecting them with counseling, those sorts of things.”

Roy said her heart goes out to the victims whose cases have been impacted by Officer Schroder’s decisions.

“Just experiencing that sexual assault is enough, but to then have to find out that they weren’t able to get the justice that they deserved, and the closure that they need, I mean that can just be heartbreaking,” she said. “There’s no closure, and there’s no sense of security for these survivors when they know that their perpetrator is still out there.”

According to Roy, undergoing a rape DNA test takes courage because it is a difficult process.

“State exams are not quick and easy. They are expensive, time-consuming, and invasive,” Roy said. “They’re invasive because they are collecting DNA evidence from essentially every inch of your body, and you’re having to go through that. It takes a lot of time. They do ask questions in addition.”

Both Cincinnati police and the Hamilton County prosecutor have said they are reviewing all of the cases that Officer Schroder was involved in over the years.

“We all advocate for everything being gone through one at a time. Everyone deserves to have their closure and justice,” Roy said. “Hopefully this will be a big eye-opener in that nothing like this will ever happen in the future again.”

Despite the investigation into Officer Schroder, Roy wants survivors to know there is hope for the future.

“There are police officers, prosecutors, victim’s advocates, all these people out there who still want to help survivors, that want the best for them, and that are hoping that all of these cases get resolved now that all of these kits have been found,” Roy said.

The YWCA has resources available for you or someone you know who has been impacted by sexual assault.

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