That's right - Emily just swore. And as everyone knows, when someone who thinks "that sucks" is a swear says that she's pissed... she's fuming.
What has me so mad? Well, recently some expletive-worthy male person attacked a 19-year-old woman while she was running, in the middle of the day, just a few miles from where I live. He crushed her throat so she couldn't scream for help, while he then shattered every bone in her face, knocked out every one of her teeth (to prevent anyone from identifying her) and broke multiple bones in her body, while raping her. Then, assuming he had killed her, he dumped her body in the bushes.
It was 3:30 pm, and she was running on a trail for pedestrians and cyclists. The trail borders the Provo River, and several meters of trees and brush line each side of the river/trail. This was not the deep woods - Utah is incapable of producing a forest, and the deepest the trees get is maybe 10 meters.
Right now the police have a suspect who fits the description she gave (the poor woman somehow survived the attack), but I doubt it's him. The man they nabbed robbed a nearby store a few hours after the attack, and he has a criminal record. However, despite his rather long history with the law he has never been arrested for harming another individual, and he didn't rape or hit the woman who was working at the store he robbed.
One part of the story that makes me particularly angry, though, is how some individuals have responded to this story. While most people are horrified in general, sympathetic toward the victim, and angry at the perpetrator, many of the comments people have written in response to online articles focus on what the victim should have been doing differently. I know none of these individuals think she deserved what happened, or that she in any way provoked the perpetrator, but by focusing on how "she shouldn't have been running alone," or "she should have been armed, and this wouldn't have happened if she'd been armed," they (unknowingly) tap into antiquated beliefs that women are responsible for being raped.
Frankly, I'm angry with the city of Provo over this incident. Relatively few serious crimes take place in this city (relatively few given how large the population is), and as a result of the low-ish crime rates police officers are free to enforce the relatively minor laws that go ignored in many other locations. Crimes like jay-walking, or having picnics in parks an hour or two after the park has officially closed. While I would hate to criticize any individual police officers, I think the police department has made a serious oversight by not patrolling this trail. Just last year a man attacked and attempted to rape a woman on that trail, using a "chemical-soaked" cloth to try to knock her unconscious.
I'm all for community patrols of that trail, and for people organizing group runs - almost immediately following news of this attack, a facebook group sprang up with those very goals in mind. This attack reminds everyone who lives in a city that they think of as crime-free or low-crime, that disturbing things happen. But as we take precautions to prevent future attacks, let's remember what really caused this problem: a violent individual with no respect for another person's life made a sickening decision. The victim did nothing wrong by deciding to go for a jog at 3:30pm.