Inaccurate, Irresponsible, Offensive
The Crime City column “Hell Hath No Fury” [Wes Denham, Dec. 18, 2013] was factually inaccurate, irresponsible and offensive. The article implied that services are only available to female crime victims, it furthered the idea that law enforcement and the state attorney’s office won’t believe a male victim who reports sexual or domestic violence and it promoted harmful stereotypes about women allegedly making false reports. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Women’s Center of Jacksonville is the certified rape crisis center for Duval, Baker and Nassau counties. As such, we provide support to male and female survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones age 12 and older. In fact, our male advocate facilitates two male support groups per week. We provide gender-specific materials for men, and our prevention program — facilitated with youth — addresses harmful stereotypes about men, women and violence. During the last fiscal year, the Women’s Center offered services to 37 male survivors of sexual assault. In addition, 816 male youth participated in sexual violence prevention programming.
Hubbard House, the certified domestic violence center referenced in the article, also provides services to male victims. Last fiscal year, Hubbard House provided counseling, court advocacy and other services to 456 male victims; 11 of these needed and received shelter.
The article promoted outdated and factually inaccurate myths related to false reports of violence against women. The fact is, very few reports of sexual assault to law enforcement are “false reports.” Well-publicized research by Dr. Kimberly A. Lonsway and others indicates that just 2 to 8 percent of reports to law enforcement are false. However, furthering the myth that “most” women are lying to law enforcement only serves to empower perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence and undermines attempts at holding them accountable for their crimes.
While statistics indicate women are disproportionately impacted by domestic and sexual violence, we know that when men are affected by these types of violence, a swift response from law enforcement and social services agencies can help to mitigate the short- and long-term consequences of the violence. Men should not only know that they are able to access services from social service agencies, but that reports of violence are taken seriously by all of our partner agencies. Last fiscal year, 164 female offenders were court-ordered to the Hubbard House intervention program.
The Women’s Center of Jacksonville and Hubbard House encourage Folio Weekly to fact-check contributors’ work before publishing such inaccurate information in the future.
— Shirley Webb, executive director, Women’s Center of Jacksonville, and Ellen Siler, CEO, Hubbard House
Not being into most sports myself, I’m surprised I even noticed this article in Folio Weekly [Sportstalk, “Send in the Clown,” AG Gancarski, Jan. 8]. But I did. And I can’t believe that this “open-minded” publication does an article on this subject, in 2014 no less.
Lest anyone think rodeos are “fun” without knowing what makes them “fun,” I’ll explain — and this goes for both horse rodeos and bull rodeos. The male animal bucks because, well, just before being mounted and released, he has an irritant strapped tightly against his scrotum, which for obvious reasons he’s dying to get rid of. The bucking is not because the animal otherwise has a grudge against the rider.
Keep up that hard-hitting coverage. Looking forward to soon reading Sportstalk’s columns on the long-maligned subjects of cockfighting and elephant-baiting.
— David Nielsen
With no due respect, people like you scare me a lot more than people carrying concealed firearms [Editor’s Note, Jeffrey C. Billman, “The Wild West,” Jan. 22]. People like you, who are in a position to write an Editor’s Note that thousands of people will read, and write said columns with no grasp of civics, law or the Constitution scare me. It’s almost akin to a person not properly trained carrying a loaded handgun.
Your Editor’s Note, which said “the notion that owning a gun is an unimpeachable, unchallengeable right … has to go” is just frighteningly wrong. Besides what you would wish or want the Constitution and law to be, owning a gun is an “unimpeachable, unchallengeable” right. It’s the Second Amendment. This isn’t an issue like abortion, which the Constitution doesn’t really address. It isn’t an issue that leaves a lot up to judicial interpretation/activism.
The right to bear arms is a black-letter, Constitutional right. You saying anything else is inane and frankly unintelligent. I’m not even writing to you as a gun advocate. I’m writing to you as somebody who respects the Constitution, our political process and the correct avenues for changing the status quo (especially a status quo backed by an entire amendment). If you want to eliminate guns from movie theaters, schools, streets, in general, etc., the more power to you. Advocate for an amendment or even amending the Second Amendment. But get it right, and don’t completely advocate for disregarding a fundamental right we all currently share in the process. Just because “it’s time we said enough” doesn’t change
— Jacob McCrea
Racists and Paranoids
You said it [“The Wild West”]! But it isn’t only racists and paranoids who worship their guns. It’s solid, God-fearing patriots who have bought into the gun industry’s propaganda. I know lots of them, and it’s like talking to a brick wall to try to convince them that nobody is coming for their guns. Carrying a gun makes them feel safer, even if it puts the rest of us at risk, including their own family and neighbors. o
— Joe Lowrey