Thursday, August 30, 2012

I hate this

So, last night, on the local news, they noted that there had been an "assault" (really, an attempted rape, but the woman fought back and at least avoided being raped) at an apartment complex here. And they had the obligatory footage of some people saying, "I don't believe it could happen here" but there was also a couple who said, "This is it. We're moving out. This place has gotten really bad. There's lots of crime, lots of drug-dealing. We don't want to live here any more."

They didn't NAME the complex or give its address. They had a brief camera-flash of the complex's sign and the number (but not the street name). I don't pay attention to the complexes here in town...I used to live in one but moved out over 10 years ago. There have been several new ones built, and there are a number of smaller, run-down complexes (places I was told, "You probably don't want an apartment there" when I first moved here).

So I got to wondering: Isn't that name the name of the newish complex they build on land right next to my classroom building? (There was, in fact, a murder there shortly after it opened. But that was what they call a "domestic" - adult son went bonkers and killed his mom)

So I tried to find the name in the phone books. Couldn't find it. Thought, Well, damn, if it IS the complex next to me, I am not going to come up here at night to work any more. And I'm not going to come in crack of dawn on Saturdays when no one else is around. And I'm going to get the colleague I teach with after my night class to walk me to my car. (Granted....I'm a fairly big and tough woman, and if someone tried to attack me, provided he wasn't armed, I could probably drop him, but still - safety in numbers)

But this is what I hate. How there are people in the world who think it's OK to assault someone, who think it's OK to take a woman by force for whatever sick reason. (And yes, I know: If I were armed the chances of it happening would be a lot less likely. But I couldn't carry on my campus, so that's kind of a moot point.) I suppose it's always been so to a certain extent, but it bugs me that in peacetime, in a small town, I still have to look over my shoulder and do all that long list of things that is often published in College Orientation 101 on "How not to be raped." Even down to considering what kind of shoes I wear, whether I could run in them if necessary.

However, I did look the complex's address up online. They're on the other side of town, in an area that frankly is kind of known for drug dealing and other petty crimes. And this morning, the cop they interviewed on the news seemed to imply that this may have been a case, not of stranger rape, but of someone stalking the woman and planning the crime...I hope they catch the bastard and lock him up.

The other thing that frustrates me: Why NOT give the address of the complex? I suppose there's some kind of legal thing tied up in that, some kind of "The owner of the complex might take it as slander." But I do think people should be allowed to know where crimes are being committed in their town....when there was a "domestic" (between two men) a few months back, they prominently showed the sign for the street intersection near where the incident happened. But just the vague, "Hey, did you know there was an attempted rape in your town" doesn't help me much.

I mean, I still take precautions. I park as close to my building as I can for my night class. If I'm in early in the morning and am the only one here, I don't unlock the outside doors. But I hate that I have to do that.

No comments: