Media & kidnap survivors
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
I wish I could hold the Cleveland kidnap survivors and erase their pain. And protect them from anyone who asks stupid and cruel questions like, “Why didn't you escape when you had the chance?”
I've seen kidnap victims Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart struggle with similar questions.
We might not be intentionally cruel, but we don't want to admit to ourselves that terrible things could happen to us or our children. So, we blame the victims. If it's partly the women's fault, that separates “them” from “us” and we're fooled into thinking it could never happen to us.
But shame and blame are implied when we ask those questions. Why didn't they do things differently? It's so unfair and truly shows the ignorance of the interviewer.
These women lived through hell. We might never understand, but that's OK.
What the media focus on is what the victims did “wrong.” What's downplayed is how much the victims did “right” in order to survive. If they did things differently, like if they tried to escape, they'd probably be dead. Whatever horror they were forced to endure, if they “befriended” the offender or whatever, they needed to comply.
We would almost certainly do the same. Who is anyone to question their judgment or motives or actions? Victims deserve better.
Often, victims struggle with self-blame. We shouldn't add to their pain. We should surround these women with love. Don't question; just listen. We all could learn a tremendous amount from these wonderful and beautiful survivors.
Amy Geertz Kriss
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kiski board ignores taxpayers
- Touching film
- Shortchanging military
- Not for sale
- School staffers’ challenge
- Do it or shut up
- Term limits’ limits