MPD responds to criticism about domestic violence victims wearing GPS devices

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A story online says a Memphis Police Program is making victims of sexual assault and domestic violence look like criminals. But Memphis police say the article is not true.

The article on is highly critical of a Memphis Police program were victims of domestic violence and sexual assault wear GPS monitoring devices.

The article calls the program "a scandal" and claims it makes these victims look like criminals.

But is that true?

Memphis police responded in a statement saying:

"As it relates to the incorrect information that is mentioned in the article regarding Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault victims, the Memphis Police Department in no way requires victims to wear GPS devices. The Memphis Police Department will take all measures possible to ensure the safety of said victims. The GPS program is available to victims as an additional safety measure that is offered to those who meet the criteria  (DV or Sexual Assault). The utilization of a GPS system is voluntary and is only provided to those who wish to take advantage of the program."

"That's the whole idea is to protect the victims," said Deborah Clubb, Executive Director of the Memphis Area Women's Council.

Clubb goes to every Sexual Assault Kit Task Force Meeting. She was surprised to hear about this criticism online.

"It's their choice, there's nothing to blame MPD for," Clubb said. "The women are choosing, they're asking to have them on. So that the police department who is monitoring the little beep beep beeps that are showing where the bad guys are, also know where the women are."

According to MPD, the GPS monitoring program started last year. Fifty-four domestic violence and 17 sex crimes victims choose to have a GPS monitoring device.

"It is working to make people safer and reduce retaliation against women who report these crimes," Clubb said.

According to Memphis police, the GPS monitoring program has led to 121 arrests so far this year.

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