10 News goes in for some victim blaming

by Esther Emery

Here’s the text of an email I just sent to David Yirchott, the Managing Editor of 10News.com.
Dear David Yirchott:

I read 10 News online and was appalled by this lede, and the accompanying headline.

“San Diego police are investigating a rising number of rapes involving young women who go on drinking binges, becoming too intoxicated to fight back or say “no,” it was reported Tuesday.”

How can you find it appropriate to report on the incidence of any kind of rape without any mention of the perpetrators? This is classic victim blaming and can only contribute to the alarmingly frequent occurrence of this criminal act. I expected better from 10News.com.

I hope that in the future you’ll consider reporting crime as if it were a crime, perpetrated by a criminal, and not an unpreventable consequence of the victim’s behavior. I don’t know about you, but I live in 2008, and victim blaming is old news.

How about this?

“San Diego police are investigating a rising number of rapes in which the rapists target intoxicated women.”

A concerned reader…

If you’d like to voice a similar concern, his email is dyirchott at ibsys dot com, or you can hit the contact button in the left margin on the page.

UPDATE: IT WORKED!!  Here is his reply.

Esther,

I have integrated your suggested text into the first sentence of our story. It now reads: “San Diego police are investigating a rising number of rapes in which rapists assault women who go on drinking binges and become too intoxicated to fight back or say ‘no,’ it was reported Tuesday.”

This adds mention of rapists as perpetrators and still maintains the elements of heavy drinking impairing resistance that the head of the sex-crimes unit specifically mentions as increasing.

Thank you for your feedback.

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