Gang Rape Reported Near FedExForum
(Memphis) Robert Church Park is a place some say you may not want to be in after dark.
“It’s not surprising. Anything that goes on here,” said Vicki Marshall, a local resident.
Police say Tuesday evening a 23-year-old woman reported being raped at the park, which is just off Beale Street and across from the FedExForum, by four men.
Marshall says she’s lived next to Robert Church Park for the last four years and that vagrants and addicts gather there at night.
Police won’t say yet if they have suspects in the case but Marshall says she hopes the victim is taken seriously, “It’s devastating. Especially when you are not taken seriously because of the way you were dressed, or the lifestyle you live, or the attitude you exhibit.”
Anna Whalley with Crime Victim Services for Shelby County agrees, “It’s very common for rape victims not to report because we as a community make them feel guilty about being assaulted.”
Whalley says it’s important for rape victims to report an assault, like in this recent case, so her office can collect DNA evidence.
It will help police get the perpetrator off the street.
And while she says women are never at fault for a rape, there are ways to help protect yourself.
Whalley says women should travel in groups and always in a lit area. Also, let someone know where you are, when you are leaving and what time you expect to arrive, “So they can come look for you if you don`t show up.”
And while police investigate what happened at Church Park, Vicki Marshall says the incident hits close to home, “I can only sympathize because I know how she feels.”
Those who have victims and want to seek help, the Crime Victim Services encourages people to call the Rape Crisis Center Hotline at 272-2020.