Applicant Rejected for Cop Job After Being Grilled About Being Raped

During a job interview for the police's Department of Identification and Forensic Science an applicant was asked about a rape compliant she filed. Two weeks later, she was told her application had been turned down

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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An Israel Police Station in Tel Aviv, in 2011.
An Israel Police Station in Tel Aviv, in 2011.Credit: Moti Milrod
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

A criminology student seeking a job in the police's Department of Identification and Forensic Science was asked during an interview about a rape she had filed a complaint about nine years earlier. When she burst into tears, one of the interviewers told her, “It’s better to cry now and not while you’re on duty,” and that the incident could hurt her chances of getting the job. Two weeks later, she was told her application had been turned down.

As first reported in the Sapir College student magazine Spirala, P., 25, was interviewed in July at the police’s Southern District after a preliminary phone interview. “I came with pure intentions, and after what I went through I really wanted to help people, precisely because of the awful way I was treated by the police when I filed a complaint when I was 16,” she told Haaretz. She said it was important for her to join the police, no matter the unit.

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P. said two senior officers in the identification and forensic science department interviewed her. At some point one of them asked if there was any event in her past that involved the police. “I told them I had filed a complaint about rape, and then the entire interview switched to talking about it,” she said. “He started delving into it: when did it happen, with whom, how many times did he assault me, if it was by force. In the hour and a half interview, one hour was devoted to that. At one point I started crying and one of them said it was better that I cried now and not while on duty.”

“I realized that they were looking for people who were strong emotionally, but I wasn’t expecting such questions,” P. said. “I would have been ready to answer if it were some professional, a psychologist, but not in a job interview. I asked if the incident could prevent my getting the job and one officer said that it might, since it was a problematic issue. I left the interview in shock.”

P. told Spirala that one of the officers told her that he regarded his job as a game. “He said, ‘If a case I worked on for 12 years was closed, I’d say fine. I gave it 100 percent, and then I was frustrated. But you’ll give it 150 percent and then be sad; you’ll get depressed and need a psychologist.’”

The police did not comment on this story.

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