Praise for Safe Harbor story
Thank you for the article by Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz on Safe Harbor ("Finding Safety," 4/1/11). I was enlightened about the problem of child abuse in Dane County (5,000-6,000 cases per year?) and I'm glad Safe Harbor is there in cases where its approach is needed.
A quick search on the web reveals that victims of abuse - especially sexual abuse by a family member - face an increased risk of suicide. The courage Alex found to tell her story publicly is in no small part the result of what she learned from the staff there.
It is a thought-provoking, comprehensive and very well written story, and I appreciate the details that were included on how the cases are now handled. The coordinated approach makes much more sense, and is more successful, than the previous disjointed manner of investigation and treatment.
You did a masterful job handling an extremely difficult subject. You gave voice to a confident, intelligent, beautiful young woman and hope to the scores of young women she represents.
My copy of Isthmus was absolutely wet with tears. But my feeling of relief was just as great upon learning that Alex and her mother were able to find the help they needed to heal, to recover and to move forward.
I have so much admiration for Alex, and her willingness to share her story. Her courage to speak out is truly an act of selflessness, and in the process she will be rescuing and "scooping up many other little girls in her arms," as she so dearly desires.
I am so grateful to Alex, and I am so grateful we live in a community that has the resources to help.
Leslie Ann Howard, president, United Way of Dane County
I'm very glad Safe Harbor was helpful for Alex. She was able to safely tell her story and get services to help her through a tough time. However, as one who has been falsely accused of harming a child, I found Safe Harbor to be a very biased, unprofessional entity.
Critical questions were not even asked of one child witness, such as "where were you when this happened?" What type of forensic interviewer neglects to establish such a crucial fact? Nonsense answers were not addressed for clarification.
The team watching the interview is very one-sided -prosecutor, social workers, victim witness advocate, police - so their questions are biased and incomplete. I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of Safe Harbor, but it needs to be fair to all parties involved.
Editor's note: In March 2010, a Dane County jury found Lynn Moller guilty of three separate counts of felony child abuse; she was acquitted on a fourth count. Her sentence of three years on probation, including six months in jail, remains stayed pending appeal.
My wife and I spent many a "date night" at Borders, and took our kids there and gave them an allowance to shop ("Closed Book," 3/18/11). My wife was in tears when we saw the liquidation signs.
The landscape of retail has changed dramatically. You can now get anything you want online, cheaper and sometimes faster. Gone are the days when a business could sit and wait for customers to come. We need to find ways to reach out to them, to create a community.
When I look at businesses like Happy Bambino, Revolution Cycle, EVP Coffee or any of a number of local restaurants, I see they are all engaged with their community. That is what it will take for retail to thrive (and not just survive). I can tell you, it's a lot like work, as it should be.
Darren Bush, Rutabaga