Addison (Kate Walsh) and Sam (Taye Diggs) turned Charlotte’s (KaDee Strickland) rape evidence over to the police behind her back. Addison struggles with the decision. She asks Sam, ‘How do you deal with this? How does Charlotte become Charlotte again? Did we do the right thing, going to the police?’
Sam answers, ‘We did the right thing.’
At the police station, Cooper (Paul Adelstein) tells Charlotte, ‘Great news. They caught the guy. All you’ve got to do is ID him, pick him out of a line up. Then they can charge him.’
Charlotte refuses and Cooper pleads with her, ‘I’ll be right next to you the whole time. This is your chance to put this guy away and then this is over.’ Charlotte says, ‘It’s already over. I’m not going in there.’ She stalks out of the station.
Back at the practice, Charlotte finds out everyone knows – except Cooper. Then Sheldon tells her he told the cops and Addison admits to turning in the pelvic washes. Charlotte is furious.
Violet (Amy Brenneman) encourages Charlotte to ID the man to prevent him from raping someone else. Charlotte tells her to get out.
According to RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network): ‘Just over half of rape victims don’t report the crime.’ Reporting is a very personal decision.’
RAINN offers these reasons why victims do not report a rape:
‘23% say it is a personal matter, 16% of victims fear reprisal and 6% don’t report because they believe the police are biased.’
Charlotte finally tells Cooper she’ll ID the guy if Violet goes with her. But, when her attacker steps forward in the line up, Charlotte tells the police, ‘He’s not here.’ Violet knows she’s lying and calls her out on it. Charlotte attacks her, ‘You’re not so put together. You are high strung and neurotic and you stick your nose into other people’s business. That is what you do and I am tired of it.’
Telling the truth means Charlotte has to relive the rape in a trial. Like many victims, she can’t imagine doing it. Violet decides Cooper has to know the truth in order for him to help Charlotte cope or move forward.
Cooper goes to Charlotte once he knows the truth. He tells her:
‘He can’t go free—that man. He cannot go free. You have to be able to sleep. You have to be able to breathe. To be you… I will get a gun. I’ll make it look like a mugging. That man is not going free. It doesn’t matter what happens to me. That man is not going free.’
This is the push that finally enables Charlotte to name her attacker in the line up. ‘Number 2,’ she says, as he steps forward. The police ask if she’s sure and she says again, with conviction, ‘Number 2.’
Shonda Rhimes, KaDee Strickland and the entire ‘Private Practice’ cast have done an incredible job telling a graphically real survivor’s story, as Charlotte inches along toward recovery and hope.
Click here to read my article about the honors Rhimes and Strickland received for their work.
‘Private Practice’ airs in Flint on WJRT TV ABC12 Thursdays at 10 PM EST.