Silence not a substitute for speaking out

Forcible rape rates in Anchorage are the highest they’ve been in 30 years.

The name of the crime itself presents a problem.

It implies there is such a thing as non-forcible rape. That’s incorrect. The only other category of rape is stat­utory rape.

If you didn’t know any of that, we can’t say we blame you.

When the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report initially released that information, it was hidden behind a head­line in the Anchorage Daily News story commending the city for a decreasing crime rate.

To be fair, reporter Casey Grove addresses the issue immediately in her story. But on the other hand, she also does not call out Police Chief Mark Mew for the insult­ing sexual assault prevention tips he mentions are post­ed on the police department website.

Some of the ridiculous tips offered include locking doors and windows, ensuring vehicles are gassed up, walking confidently at a steady pace and wearing cloth­ing that allows for free movement.

Other tips are outright insulting.

“You may be able to turn the attacker off with bizarre behavior such as throwing up, acting crazy or picking your nose,” the website states.

Surely, people are grateful for the unprecedented advice.

But this is not an editorial meant to slam the Anchor­age Police Department. Not at all! Because a quick online search shows that many universities and cities offer the same advice, with no evidence that it works.

This city’s general “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” attitude toward rape is not adequate.

April is Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. People who do not speak out against these issues are saying volumes. They’re saying it’s okay by them for these crimes to continue.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (quote attributed to Edmund Burke [1729-1797],

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