Friday, January 23, 2009

Assault

Yesterday morning an 18 year old woman was attacked and sexually assaulted in Northeast Calgary. Police warn us:

Calgarians are advised to exercise caution when out alone, to
stay in busy, well-lit areas and to avoid dark, deserted
places.

If you are suspicious of someone, trust your instincts.
Scream or use a personal emergency alarm to attract
attention.

It’s also advised Calgarians wait for transit or public
transportation with other people in a well-lit area.

But the Herald also suggests that Staff Sgt.Curtis Olson of the Calgary Police Service's sex crimes unit says "the harrowing incident should serve as a reminder for women to be extra cautious when they are alone."

Extra cautious when we're alone. I agree, and feeling safe just gets worse when we're not surrounded by leering strangers. But I sense a little bit of blaming the victim going on here. It's between the lines but it's there. How about waging a war on violence commited by men like this? How about railing against society's blind eye tolerance of this shit? Like releasing high-risk men from prison when they have refused to be rehabilitated? Like how my company didn't want to contribute to "fear" by posting the City Police's sketch of the man who raped a woman next to our building last year (and still hasn't been caught)?

I hope this young woman is able to find strength, healing, sweet dreams and renewal. My heart breaks apart for her.

1 comment:

dandelionfield said...

Do the police really believe that caution is the only weapon with which we can combat rape as a society?

sigh.