Sexual violence happens everywhere, to men and women, the elderly and children. Nobody asks to be raped. That's like saying a burn victim asked to be set on fire. The only person who has a choice about whether or not a rape will happen is the person who chooses to commit the rape. The rest of the circumstances are irrelevant. The blame always rests on the perpetrator.
Risk reduction may provide neat and tidy examples of ways to mitigate your chances of being raped, but they will never totally eliminate the possibility. Remember, a rapist's goal is to exert power over his victim by taking away the victim's control of the circumstances and her decision of whether or not to have sex.
All told, you wrote an excellent story, and we really appreciate the sensitivity you showed toward your interview subjects. Again, many thanks for covering a difficult topic with such compassion.
Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault
Why "junk journalism"? You talked to a half-dozen pissed-off people and called it coverage. Why "ambush journalism"? An article of this magnitude required extensive work by the reporter. He tried to reach Clint Stonebraker, who runs Pathway, on a Friday, claiming a Monday deadline. When told Clint had left for vacation, Sarkissian tried to get the young counselor to speak for the program, which was beyond the scope of his job. Any boss would have had his head, had he complied. If your reporter had any intention of getting to know Pathway--trying to understand for himself where the truth was, learning what "enthusiastic sobriety" means, meeting Cliff and his staff to hear their side--he would have let the piece go until Clint returned from vacation where, I understand, he was unreachable. Your reporter was either woefully disorganized or has an editor so uncritical that he could get away with sloppiness like that. My husband publishes a weekly paper and would have never tolerated that from a reporter or editor.
What's great about alternative weeklies is that they're not afraid to take a stand against pomposity. They give us edgy looks at our society; they're willing to risk being other than "if it bleeds, it leads" journalism. Why did you take such a National Enquirer approach this time? You have an impressive background, and I think the world of "alternative journalism" is lucky to have someone with your intelligence and capability, and I include your editor, Jimmy Boegle. But this article was beneath you and just plain shameful. Why the ire? Our son was with Crossroads in St. Louis for four years and then decided he wanted to help other teens get sober. He didn't follow the college-bound path we'd dreamed for him, but he says, when we ask him if he likes his job, "I'm saving lives here, Mom." Bob Meehan, the program's founder, is the most outrageous 60-year-old you will ever meet. But his core and his teachings are rock-solid; and his appeal is powerful. It has to be, to make kids to decide sobriety is cooler than drug or alcohol addiction. Meehan's great; the counselors are awesome, and I'm one grateful parent.
M. Rose Jonas
Members of the first group put their faith, trust and decision-making in God's hands. This group is politically powerless by choice and likely to remain so.
Members of the second group squeal about social injustice, loss of jobs, lack of health care and the growing gap between rich and poor. This group does not move beyond squeals and laments to effect change. This group, though noisy, is also powerless.
Members of the third group, led by President Bush, Sen. Bill Frist, and Rep. Tom DeLay, daily hammer the public with the evils of stem cell research, activist judges, the sanctity of heterosexual marriage and the need for a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage. This group is powerful and well-organized. This group's agenda is being enacted in spite of the horrendous economic and social damage to the nation. May America be saved from God.
Our city has many examples of translations that, in a roundabout way, tell the Mexican consumer that we do not care enough about his/her culture to come up with a good translation. Examples can be even seen in your otherwise great article, where "Habla Español?" should be "¿Habla Español?" "Salon de Belleza Abierta" should be "Salón de Belleza Abierto" (note accute accent on the letter "o").