Mail letters to Letters, Santa Fe Reporter, PO Box 2306, Santa Fe, NM 87504, deliver them to 132 E. Marcy St., fax them to 505-988-5348 or email them to the editor.
First of all, I would like to take this opportunity, long overdue, to thank Corey Pein for his in-depth research and reporting on violence against women in our community. His articles keep the issues of domestic and sexual violence present in our consciousness—absolutely essential if the Santa Fe community is ever going to come together to hold perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence accountable for their bad behaviors. Corey, I thank you both personally and professionally.
I am also writing because I am very concerned about the Santa Fe Reporter letters to the editor. "Men: The Victims," "Taught From Birth" and "Humiliation" would lead readers to think that there is a groundswell of sentiment in Santa Fe that believes it is men who have been victimized by the anti-violence movement.
As the domestic and sexual violence prevention coordinator for the City of Santa Fe and located at the Santa Fe Police Department, I read EVERY domestic violence incident and 911 call report from both the city and county of Santa Fe. Therefore, I absolutely recognize that women can be violent. I can also tell you unequivocally that men continue to be the majority of perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence crime. Of the 408 domestic violence incident reports from the third quarter of 2009 (July, August, September) 318 or 78 percent of victims were women. While 86 or 22 percent of victims were men, 22 or about 26 percent of them were victimized by another male—often a father or brother! Children who call 911 invariably report that their father or their mother's boyfriend is hurting their mother. Bystanders report that a man is beating up a woman in a parking lot or car or next-door apartment.
Historically, the judicial system and many of our laws were created by and for men. Not so long ago is was legal for a man to beat his wife as long as he used a branch no thicker than his thumb ("the rule of thumb"). The children and any property a woman brought to a marriage belonged to the man. It is only fairly recently that women have entered and been able to impact the legal system—as attorneys, politicians and law enforcement officers. Changes brought about by these women mean that today women ARE getting orders for protection, ARE getting custody, ARE finding safety and starting new lives. These changes make the men who seek to control women very angry.
Which brings me back to the letters. Letters from Jay Lander, Florence Vigil and María Cristina López should be viewed for what they are—backlash, and not the true sentiment of a thoughtful, caring community.
It has been said that the thing men most fear from women is that they will be shamed or embarrassed or humiliated by something a woman says or does. It has also been said that the thing women most fear from men is to be killed. Remember Sarah Lovato. Enough said.
Carol A Horwitz
Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator
City of Santa Fe
Thank you for highlighting homelessness in Santa Fe, however, one group often overlooked are pregnant and parenting homeless youth. Issues such as a lack of stable housing, health care or food are compounded when a young person also has a child. Youth Shelters provides basic services to these young parents as well as the reliable help and knowledge necessary to deal with the realities of parenting.
Youth Shelters has seen the number of pregnant and parenting homeless youth more than double in the last few years, and we are working to both prevent teen pregnancy and support young parents in raising children in happy, healthy homes. A weekly support group and parenting class at our Street Outreach location (402 S. St. Francis Drive) has been well-attended for the last six months, covering topics such as nutrition, family planning and strengthening the parent-child bond. In addition, Youth Shelters provides these youth with a myriad of other critical services like transportation to doctors' appointments and assistance getting into preschool or childcare. As a community, it is our responsibility to care for our children, especially our children who are having children. Our dedicated staff and volunteers continue to work hard to meet this growing need.
Service Coordinator for Pregnant and Parenting Teens
Real Royale Road
Agua Fria rocks! Agua Fria is terrific! What's Zane [Fischer's] problem, anyway? (Answer: He's inzane. Just look at that photo of him, raving. But I suppose that's just meant to be cool or to graphically depict his passion or something.) Anyway, like most mediocre writers, Zane complains (in this instance, about Agua Fria) without bothering to get off his duff and explain the reason why he dislikes (or fears?) Agua Fria. What a Wuss! So, in the absence of any documentation of his neuroses, let's try to find out what the problem is here. Is it the winos near Andy's Liquorette? A bunch of harmless broken men who need compassion, not criticism (and spare change if you have it). The speed bumps? Blame the city, not the street. Bert's La Taqueria? Not that bad. A La Mesa? It's garbage, but SFR no-nothings [sic] actually LIKE it! Terrific location, near downtown, lots of character? Well heck, that's no reason to dislike a street! In the end, we are left with no clue as to why the clueless Mr. Fischer dislikes (or fears) Agua Fria Street. So perhaps he will deign to, uh, enlighten us. Meanwhile, we who do not see through a glass darkly will continue to love it, as we have from the beginning. It's the Camino Royale, the Royal Road, to Mexico City, Fischer. Duhhhhh.
Thank you for articulating in your recent column what I've been feeling all along. "A weird post-colonial seizure" was brilliant! And the closing sentence of the article equally so. You are the only reason I pick up the Reporter each week.
The Reporter welcomes original, signed letters to the editor. Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to speci?c articles in the Reporter. They may be edited for clarity and space. Include address and phone number for veri?cation purposes; these will not be published.