Alaskans choose respect

  • Saturday, October 8, 2016 3:14pm
  • Opinion

Perhaps someone should send Donald Trump’s campaign the link to Alaska’s Choose Respect website.

Friday’s news that Trump was recorded making lewd comments about women should not come as a surprise given the candidate’s well-documented attitude toward women and his propensity for putting himself in front of cameras and microphones. Indeed, the biggest surprise may be that the recording didn’t surface sooner.

Late Friday, Trump’s campaign posted a video apology from the candidate for the comments. We’ll leave it to our readers to judge the sincerity of the apology, but we’ll also note that Trump is not the only person on the campaign trail with a problematic history with women — former President Bill Clinton’s past also is well documented.

In his apology, Trump said, “This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today.”

On that point, we vehemently disagree. Here in Alaska, domestic violence and sexual assault are some of the toughest issues we face. Claiming to have groped women and gotten away with it because of who he is paints a vivid picture of the problem.

Alaska’s domestic violence and sexual assault statistics also have been well documented. At least 52 percent of women living on the Kenai Peninsula have or will experience domestic violence, according to the 2013 Alaska Victimization Study conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center and the state Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

We encourage our readers to use Trump’s comments as an opportunity to start a discussion on how we treat others. It’s especially crucial to have this discussion with our children, because dismissing that type of behavior as a distraction in essence condones it. We need to set a better example than that.

There are resources available online to help you start the conversation. Try the Alaska Department of Public Safety website at http://www.dps.state.ak.us/cdvsa/Prevention-Choose-Respect.html; http://www.alaskamenchooserespect.org has good information as well.

We have a month left to make a choice of who will become the next president of the United States, a decision that, for many voters, is proving difficult.

But there is an obvious and important choice we can all make in our everyday lives: choose respect.

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