Desa Jacobsson: Standing up for victims of sexual abuse
"On Jan. 18, Dan Fagan of KFQD Radio remarked on legislative efforts by Gov. Parnell to end violence in Alaska. During his talk show he stated, "Sexual abuse is rampant in Bush Alaska and people are turning a blind eye, looking the other way and nothing is being done about it while girls and young women are being terrorized."

In the first place, sexual violence knows no race, gender, age or economic walls. It happens all over the world. Not just in rural Alaska. I need not delve into cases familiar to most Alaskans to remind us that abuse happens everywhere.

Dan Fagan's outrageous remark that "nothing is being done and people are turning a blind eye, looking the other way" denigrates, minimizes and insults the dedication of those who have worked in the field to end violence in Alaska.

Since 1982, I have worked with and known those at the forefront to make social change in our state. These dedicated Alaskans have worked in very dangerous conditions to speak out and do something to end this scourge. They have been subjected to public ridicule, threats and harassment. They have persevered.

I have seen witnesses terrified as they testified in court, bravely coming forward in order to stop further abuse and to hold the perpetrators accountable. I have seen accountability placed on the abuser, rather than victims blamed for a choice they didn't make. For decades throughout Alaska, support groups have been organized where victims could be healed of their injuries, understood and nurtured into wellness."

Get the Story:
Desa Jacobsson: Many stand up for sexual abuse victims (The Anchorage Daily News 3/21)