Editors, show care for our community
To the Editor:
I have been deeply saddened at the level of detail you have included in articles about domestic and sexual violence criminal cases in the last month. Not only do your sensationalistic articles re-victimize primary victims and their families but they act as a deterrent to any victim who hesitates to report a crime of sexual or domestic violence. Survivors of these crimes reading your paper know that if they turn to the traditional avenues of help, the most painful, private details of their lives will be broadcast to our small communities for their friends, family, co-workers, fellow students and neighbors to scrutinize and judge.
I deeply respect your beliefs around a free press and understand that when reporting on these crimes you have to make difficult choices. Please consider how what you publish impacts victims and our community.
Please consider the ways your editing decisions can either cause further victimization and harm or support healing.
Please consider what it might be like for a child to attend school after the minute details of their or their parent's victimization has been read by members of their community.
Please consider how de-contextualized facts of a criminal case can lead to hurtful gossip and other, more egregious harm to a victim and his or her family.
Please consider looking beyond your right to print what you choose and look to what is right for the most vulnerable in our communities.
Please consider that any one of us can be victimized by sexual or domestic violence and consider what you would want your neighbors, co-workers and friends to know about your most painful moments.
East Burke, Vt.