Oakland, California has been a cesspool of crime for decades - however a recent report reveals just how much worse things have gotten in the last year alone.
Compared to last year, robberies have surged 22%, while overall crime has risen by a staggering 42% in the first half of 2023.
Seven women told the San Francisco chronicle their harrowing tales of violent attacks which have been ignored by the police.
A woman walked briskly, through a busy shopping corridor and past a columbarium in North Oakland, heading toward her car. Dusk was gathering.
She crossed the street to a tree-lined block of Ramona Avenue, the vehicle now within arm’s reach.
Violent attacks on women in particular have increased - with recent data showing a higher level of violence towards female robbery victims, as assailants target individuals who are distracted by cell phones.
Oakland Police have admitted that robberies are generally crimes of opportunity in which women are often perceived as easier targets.
Law enforcement officials, who have been accused of ignoring the problem, say they are overburdened and unable to provide women the support they need, and have pointed to a controversial statement by Oakland Department of Violence Prevention Chief Kentrell Killens, which seemed to sympathize with young robbery suspects rather than victims.
"These are our babies, these are our children," said Killens, referring to criminals. "They deserve a chance to get things together. They deserve a chance to have the level of support to help them turn things around."
Women in Oakland have since come together to form an online community to apply pressure on city officials to take action. While their initial efforts eventually led to a response, the group revealed that there are only six investigators handling hundreds of reported incidents, building a case, and actually moving forward with them.
Several victims told the outlet that their attackers remain at large due to insufficient evidence or surveillance footage which can't be made out.
In short, Oakland is failing its residents - particularly its most vulnerable.