Education key to prevention

Jake Tapley

Statistically speaking, this past summer wasn’t the best for women in the Tri-State.

At least three separate cases of missing women received media attention: Dara Fine from Gibson County, Kristie Kelley from Boonville, and Joelle Lockwood from Evansville.

Their faces were on the news, on social media, and even on the doors of some local businesses – if you were in this general region, you knew about it.

This all happened between the months of June and August, but recently, it has come back to public attention.

It was breaking news when Joelle Lockwood was reported as being found alive.

No one was expecting it. Everyone, likely even her family, had their doubts.

And then the details came out, and we had a whole new ordeal to wrestle with.

This was a woman who had been taken by people that she knew and then held prisoner in their home without anyone knowing about it for nearly two months. The whole thing was shocking.

I have talked to several women, particularly young women, who have addressed the situation and other isolated incidents that they have experienced themselves.

These women articulated their fear of being alone in the city at night, which makes sense.

They talked about taking preventative measures, such as purchasing a bottle of pepper spray, a rape whistle or even a new type of nail polish that changes color when in contact with certain sedatives.

It has also come to my attention that certain feminist groups have been combatting these ideas, saying that it shouldn’t be the woman’s responsibility to defend herself.

They suggest that we should instead focus our efforts on educating people so that these types of crimes become less frequent.

I agree with this sentiment, and I feel that we should certainly invest our time and careful deliberation into this pursuit. However, we must also come to the realization that there will always be people who reject the norm.

Women certainly shouldn’t feel obligated to have tools of self-defense, but it’s definitely not a bad idea.

And the same goes for anyone – whether you’re on campus walking back to your dorm at night or getting out of your car in a dark parking lot, you should be able to feel safe.

Take precaution and do what needs to be done, so long as it doesn’t infringe on basic human rights.