03 December 2007

TV Media Misses Target With Report On Getting Help AFTER An Assault

Ready Line contributor Ellen Wickham is more than a bit ticked off about how TV news gives "advice" for dealing with criminal attacks.

With the U.S. Supreme Court in the process of trying to decide whether owning a firearm is an individual civil right (District of Columbia v.Heller), and the potential they may decide against it, I find the report below to be that much more devastating.

First as a woman, and second as a resident of Ohio's capital city, I was stunned to learn that Columbus has a higher rate of rape than that of New York City, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Philadelphia. This information is provided courtesy of the FBI and was reported by our local CBS affiliate, WBNS-10TV, during the 6pm news on November 27th. An additional statistic of interest is the fact that a person is sexually assaulted every 2.5 minutes in these United States. 2.5 MINUTES!

Apparently, in Columbus the majority of these assaults are happening in three geographic areas: the Near East side, the Franklin-Hilltop area and the Ohio State off-campus area. WBNS-10TV's report also showed that a full one-third of the assaults are taking place in public areas (i.e. parking lots, bars, parks, etc.). The segment also focused on another noteworthy issue: the growing use by assailants of date rape drugs and alcohol. Women, never leave your drinks unattended and never accept a drink from a stranger! And speaking of drinking, alcohol seems to be a common factor among victims of acquaintance rape. This is the category under which most of the city's rape cases fall.

WBNS-10TV, in reporting the apparent epidemic of sexual assault in Columbus raised some very important issues. There was even a list of telephone numbers for various rape, sexual assault and counseling information and hotlines at the end of the segment. You know what I'm talking about . . . the numbers you would call AFTER you have been beaten, bloodied, bruised, violated and traumatized.

Not a one telephone number, not one organization or or agency to contact, included a single self-defense class, a firearms instructor or any other person or entity to train or otherwise teach someone how to avoid being sexually assaulted or protect themselves if someone were attempting to assault them.

It seems the station was far more interested in spreading the statistical information than it was in truly helping every single Central Ohio resident (and not just women) avoid becoming victims in the first place. The only advice given, was for victims to be sure and file that police report no matter how traumatized they are. Why? It makes tracking repeat offenders easier. By the way, did you know that if you call the police just before, during or after your assault, that you have no personal entitlement to police protection under the law. That decision is courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court as well, (Castle Rock v. Gonzalez, 2005).

With the above statistics standing alone, I think any clear thinking person would believe a case is made for the individual right to keep and bear arms. But then throw in the Castle Rock v. Gonzalez decision and it seems to me to cement the Supreme Court ultimately deciding in District of Columbia v. Heller that our Second Amendment is without question an individual right.

So, thanks 10TV for the information. Now I know that if I decide to head toward the Near East side, the Franklin-Hilltop area or the Ohio State off-campus area I will be sure to have my personal protection item of choice (.38 S&W). That way I won't rely on the police for my personal protection, I won't have to use your ever so helpful list of telephone numbers, and I can assure you, there will be no repeat offenders.

Ellen Wickham is an educator in a Central Ohio school system.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Great article. I appreciate your details and making me aware... but most of all I love your passion. I hope you never have to use force... but glad you are out there.