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We need a revolution and we have an opportunity

Posted: December 6, 2012 - 1:09am

We’re Number One! Rape, domestic violence, suicide, child abuse, fetal brain damage from alcohol, alcohol consumption and alcoholism: for more than 40 years Alaska has the highest rates in the nation. A recent survey of Alaskan women found one in three had been raped.* How long must we endure this?

Given our wealth and small population, Alaskans should be the happiest and healthiest bunch of people in the United States. We very much are not.

But, Alaska has more than $10 billion in the bank because of recent high oil prices. This money is not in the Permanent Fund and it’s not committed to anything. We have money. We don’t have a plan.

Don’t we have the responsibility to be number 1 at dealing with these things? We need more than small changes to existing programs. We need a revolution.

Let’s show we’re serious and create a $1 billion “Alaska Public Safety and Welfare Fund” to support existing programs while taking time to coordinate interagency programs, planning and research. Let’s figure out how to be number 50.

If not us, then who in the world has a chance?

Please write! letters to the editor and emails to the Governor and legislators, comment on Facebook…. This is Alaska in the information age. Democracy works here if we make it work. Legislators can only represent you if they know what you want.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that we could be number 50 instead of number one. It is our responsibility to become the best in the nation in treating and preventing these things. Other groups of people have these problems too. Alaska could be where they come for training and to do their research.

This is about being happy and healthy but spending money in Alaska is good for our economy as well.

Thanks for your help.

John Palmes

Juneau

* The one in three is a translation of the results of the 2010 Victimization Survey as presented on Governor Parnell’s “Choose Respect” web page. The quote and a link to the page follow:

The 2010 Alaska Victimization Survey (AVS) life time estimates, specific to Alaskan women are:

• 58% have experienced intimate partner or sexual violence.

• 47.6% have experienced intimate partner violence.

• 37.1% have experienced sexual violence.

http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/priorities/public-safety/choose-respect/fa...

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