I am an #IDAddict. I love Investigation Discovery. The reason I love ID is because the law enforcement officials are passionately solving the cases they have been presented with, always with justice in mind for the victim and/or family. I watch all the ID shows. Initially, my crime show addiction started with Law and Order, Law and Order Special Victims Unit (SVU), Cold Cases Files, Forensic Files, and City Confidential. I watch Snapped too. Along the way TruTV became my favorite and then ID popped up and I have religiously watched this channel since the beginning. I love ID the most because they present true crime programming featuring those impacted by the crime, including victims, friends, and family, and those involved in solving the crime.
ID showcases crimes in the civilian world and in the military. I honed in on the military cases because I was a victim of crimes perpetrated by four different men while serving, three of them with confirmed histories of assault. My original Law and Order SVU addiction started my true crime addiction. I analyzed where the military went wrong with my case and so many other service member’s cases compared to the way the civilian world handles criminal matters. I now run a site called Military Justice for All where I track the military cases that Discovery ID reports on and others I learn about in my research. Although I served in the military for fourteen years, I had no idea what was happening all around me. I didn’t realize I was one of thousands of service members getting sexually assaulted every year. Most media outlets report the crimes perpetrated by military members in the local areas only. I am trying to give the American public the big picture all in one place. It helps explain why sexual assault, domestic violence, suicide, and murder are so prevalent in the armed services considering active duty are less than 1% of the population.
I am especially interested in the cases that involve sexual assault and domestic violence because I was a victim of sexual assault and physical assault while serving in the military. Investigators often point out that these crimes are precursors to murder and I want to make this point abundantly clear in hopes this country will take these crimes more seriously. Animal abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence are red flags for further violence. Predators escalate and get more daring. They learn from mistakes they made in the past and will stop at nothing to cover their crimes, including murder. I understand how they work now because I listen closely to the victims, investigators and police officials on these shows. You can’t find this kind of education in on-line research. I learned that I had no reason to feel guilt and shame when these serial predators are out there perpetrating crimes banking on the fact that society will blame you and they are difficult cases to prove because it is your word against theirs.
I love listening to investigators take us through the case, going through the twists and turns, and seeing them never give up until the murder case is solved. It takes passion, dedication, and perseverance to solve these cases. I only wish law enforcement and the military could dedicate resources to the crimes of stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence to prevent more violent crimes and murder. I want them to have the tools necessary to prevent people from getting murdered both in the civilian world and the military by cracking down on the red flags. I want to know everything about these cases so that we can learn from it and create some awareness that will help us get a conviction in the courts with due process in mind. If we jailed rapists and abusers for their violent ‘pre-cursor’ crimes, we could prevent others from getting raped and/or murdered. We need to take the crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence more serious.
Once you have been a victim of crime, your whole life changes as does your perspective. “People are capable of anything,” Lt. Joe Kenda, Homocide Hunter. These shows help me see that I am not the only one that was crushed and betrayed by these perpetrators, usually someone you know. I have learned from Investigation Discovery that I am one of many victims going through the same thing. The guests on ID validate the way that I feel or have felt in the past. And unlike my case in the military, these cases involve professional investigators who want to solve these cases to protect the rest of us from them. These predators can’t stop as evidenced by the escalation in criminal activity over a lifetime and the recidivism rates. You wouldn’t believe how many murders were perpetrated by people convicted of and/or accused of stalking, rape and/or domestic violence in the past. This is why I believe strongly that everyone should report crimes perpetrated against them to law enforcement officials.
As a society we need to report these criminals because we are one of many of their victims. It’s not easy to report but you could be saving someone else from getting stalked, raped, abused, and/or murdered. Law enforcement officials track these criminals to help them build cases. Even if the police department doesn’t handle it well, you have still helped society by putting their name in the system. When the police fail us, we must address that too. We need to know that we can call the police department and that our reports will be taken seriously. I understand there are situations, especially in domestic violence and the military, where reporting is not safe. When you do feel safe enough to report (after getting out of a domestic violence relationship safely or away from your perpetrators in the military), consider reporting to help others, and your own healing process. Reporting helps law enforcement officials build cases so they can get convictions. Your one case may make for a difficult case to prove but multiple reports help law enforcement officials piece things together to build a case for the prosecutors. The national databases can help all involved get justice sooner rather then later, before predators can escalate to murder.
I love ID because I can listen to the investigators and prosecutors talk about how the law works, why due process is important, and what they have to do to get the criminal. But I want to take it a step further and create awareness around why it is currently so difficult to convict someone who rapes, abuses, and murders and the lame sentences they are usually given. As a society, we should not be waiting until predators murder when most of their history reveals an escalation of violence. If we create awareness of the modus operandi of predators and stricter sentencing for sexual assault and domestic violence crimes, we can prevent murder. We’ve got sex offender registries when they should be in jail for life for their multiple violent crimes. Meanwhile our criminal justice system jails marijuana users for longer sentences then a rapist. We need a “War on Predators”.
I think the military and other national organizations need to get out the business of handling violent crimes and hand them over to the civilian police and courts so all the information can be in one place. Sexual assault, domestic violence, and murder on federal bases in the military impacts our communities too. Predators do not discriminate and know no boundaries, hence the reason the military should hand these cases over to the civilians or at least connect their databases with the civilian law enforcement officials. These internal criminal justice systems are not helping law enforcement officials capture the initial reporting data necessary and relevant to building a case. This isn’t about protecting the reputations of the institutions anymore. This is about preventing these crimes from happening to others and holding these perpetrators accountable for their actions. It’s about justice.