The main character who the speaker is talking to first is a woman who has been sexually violated. She is a victim of a heinous and very private, embarrassing crime. The officer that she has reported her situation to is a policeman who patrols her area and who her family knows and trust. Her family is very close to this officer, for “he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers.” She doesn’t know him that well though, which makes her telling him about the incident that much more painful and uncomfortable. She gives him all the details of the crime and about her assailant. She has the idea that the cop may have been her rapist. The woman has a certain bit of suspicion about the officer, but she is not sure. “Rape” is a poem about a woman who is reporting a case of rape to a policeman who may just be the criminal responsible for the offense himself. The violated woman isn’t convinced that the policeman is the rapist, but the speaker defiantly suspects him.
There is a cop who is both prowler and father:
he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers,
had certain ideals.
You hardly know him in his boots and silver badge,
on horseback, one hand touching his gun.
You hardly know him but you have to get to know him: