Details in Friday’s story won’t benefit readers | SummitDaily.com
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Details in Friday’s story won’t benefit readers

Sarah VaineExecutive DirectorAdvocates for Victims of Assault, Inc.

Re: Warrant sheds light on Rockne arrest (SDN, Jan. 12)When I picked up the paper this morning and read the lead story, my heart sank. I thought immediately of the “anonymous” person whom the story was written about. While I understand the paper has a job to do in reporting news, I cannot imagine how the level of detail in the Rockne story could benefit the readers in our community. As a victim advocate in Summit County, I work with women every day who refuse to come forward when they have been victimized out of fear of having the most terrifying and painful details of their lives on the front page of the local paper. Living in a small community makes anonymity difficult to achieve. I would like to point out several considerations for the paper and the community at large:Sexual assault and domestic violence are the most under-reported crimes by far. While 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, very few of these women report their experiences. Those that do, often say that they regret their decision because of the treatment they receive and the lack of privacy that they are entitled to.While reading this story could potentially retraumatize this particular victim, it may also cause other victims to relive their own traumatic assaults by being exposed to the details of this case. I would like everyone to imagine experiencing something so degrading and terrifying and then imagine having your neighbors, co-workers, family members (including your children) and friends reading the details as well.If you ever sit on a jury and you wonder why a woman wouldn’t report such horrible crimes, or why victims of domestic violence and sexual assault “re-cant” or change their stories afterwards, think about having these kinds of details exposed. Most women say, “I just want to pretend that it never happened. I just want it to go away.” I would also like to remind those victims that do not want to come forward that there are free, confidential services and support available to them. Editor’s note: The Advocates for Victims of Assault, Inc., can be reached at (970) 389-3166, or visit http://www.summitadvocates.org.


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