01-09-13 Letters to the editor

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It was very disturbing to read the Sunday Los Alamos Monitor, front page, above the fold.  You stooped very low to report and describe in detail a crime involving domestic violence.  I believe the news war between the local media has resulted in sleaze journalism.

This incident could have simply been reported in Police Beat.  By naming and describing the victim in such detail the Monitor is guilty of re-victimizing the victim.  

A victim of domestic violence (DV) is most often humiliated and shamed and you most likely made it worse.  

There are usually many incidents of DV before the police are called. 

Victims of well-known persons in the community are likely not to report due to public humiliation and fear of ramifications.   In this case the neighbor made the 911 call.

I worked as a victim advocate for four Metro Denver cities for 11 years.  

My comments are made from experience.  The bulk of my work was domestic violence and sexual assault — usually, but not always, against women. 

My worst case was on scene at a murder-suicide involving two small children who witnessed their mother being shot and the boyfriend blowing his brains out.  

My last days in Denver, before the Cerro Grande fire brought me back home to Los Alamos in 2000, included two on-scene go-outs and two nights in court assisting seven victims — six women and a man.

My criticism of the Monitor should include some constructive suggestions. This article could have contained some constructive detail.  

You mention the perpetrator was released.  Released to go home?  I hope not! Was there a temporary restraining order?  I hope so!   

This information would be helpful to other DV victims who are afraid to report.  A victim is often in most danger, or feels in most danger after a report.  

It would be helpful to know there are systems in place to protect a victim after reporting.  

Perhaps the Monitor could follow-up with an informational article about DV and include local resources.  

I have already seen in “the other source” that alcohol is being given as the excuse for the incident.  

This may be true in this case; however, a major “cause” of domestic violence is the need to exert power and control over another.  Alcohol merely allows the abuser to justify the abusive behavior.

Possibly some of my comments are overstepping.  Each case of domestic violence is different yet there are many common elements.  Because the majority of reported incidents involve female victims (male victims are believed to under report, which skews the statistics), it is widely held among experts that women are victims, most often due to the objectification of women (Miss America Pageant, TV and movies, advertising) as well as the unequal status accorded women in society and religions. 

 We learn to value and behave toward persons, subtly or blatantly, by how they are portrayed and treated.  

How much do we all perpetuate this by allowing this objectification to continue?


Liz Rutherford

Los Alamos


Last year in eighth grade, we went on the Washington, D.C. trip.  It was an amazing and memorable experience for many reasons.  

The museums were amazing, the hotel was fantastic, and the tour guides were incredible!

Our favorite museums were the Holocaust Museum and the Smithsonian.  

There were so many interesting artifacts to look at and explore, and many kids enjoyed them. 

The hotel was great, the chaperones were cool, funny and very easygoing.  

Even the bus driver, Ed, was hilarious! 

He would constantly make jokes while giving us tours around DC, and everyone loved him!

We had the privilege of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,  which was the highlight of our trip. 

Each year in an essay contest, four  students in the group are chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  

We were lucky enough to be chosen because of what we wrote.  

It was an honor to be able to lay the wreath, and if we could do it again, we wouldn’t hesitate.

If you are an eighth grader, we strongly recommend you go on this trip because  it was an amazing experience, and you’ll never be able to experience a trip quite like this one. 

Contact the fantastic tour leader, Roberta Cocking, at 505-670-0679 for information and to register. It is worth every penny!


Madison and Sierra Foley

Los Alamos