Something that has been important for me to advocate through the development of my Emily Stone character is the notion that women are strong and deserving of respect. Emily takes it upon herself to become a vigilante member of law enforcement, tracking down the criminals in our communities who commit the most heinous of crimes, including rape and murder. I hope that the women who read my novels perhaps become a bit bolder in appreciating their own talents and abilities. Also, I hope that any woman who has been a victim of sexual assault will know that she is not alone, her pain is worthy of attention, and justice must be done.
With that in mind, I was inspired reading an article about an initiative that is taking place in around 170 communities across Alaska this week. Men and women are being encouraged to take part in rallies around the theme “Choose Respect” as a way of recognizing the sad distinction that Alaska has as the state having the highest number of sexual assaults within its borders. I was shocked to learn that fifty-nine percent of women in Alaska have faced sexual abuse or assault of some form. I’m glad that these annual rallies have grown exponentially over the past several years so that women know that have the support of their communities and the resources they desperately need are allocated where needed.
I am with the people rallying across Alaska this week. And, since sexual crimes continue to be a problem in every state, I hope the efforts of this one state will have a ripple effect as we all stand up for better education and other preventative measures to prevent crimes against women from happening in the first place and more severe punishments for those who inflict the violence.
Please join me: