Campus Rapes

No woman ever is to blame

I was saddened to see the numbers go up, but pleased to see that UH was taking more steps to honor the reports from the survivors of assault (“Rape Reports Spike On The UH Manoa Campus,” Aug. 31). Not every woman survives.

After 40 years of caring for women, I can tell you that at least one-third of all my patients had either been raped, sometimes more than once, or sexually molested for years. They had never told anyone, partly out of the shame and rejection that often occurred. They often blamed themselves. No woman is to blame.

Some of these women were midlife, and had never told anyone. Many of them had never even been asked by their OB/GYN health care provider. Most thanked me for asking them.

This soul-wrenching experience scars a woman for life, alters her sense of femininity and damages her self image. For many, loving sexual activity with their husbands and partners never recovers.

Society can always be assessed accurately when we observe how we address the weakest links in our system.

When we honor women, we honor ourselves. You can determine the value of a man’s character by the manner in which he treats women.

Keep up the great reporting and great coverage of a really critical event which determines the future of women and the trajectory of their accomplishments.

— Virginia Beck, Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Lawai

Investment Property Tax

Voters don’t want to feel tricked

There are two issues regarding the tax to fund education: 1) the misleading language in the ballot measure, and 2) whether additional real estate taxes to fund public education is a good idea (“Hawaii Counties Ask Court To Block School Property Tax Measure,” Aug. 29).

Clear, direct language about and in a legal measure should be a common-sense requirement. Why don’t teachers and their union support concise communication that would help voters better understand and vote on an issue affecting the Hawaii state Constitution? Voters don’t want to feel confused or tricked when they vote.

Although providing more funds for public education seems like a no-brainer, historically, government programs always use a lack of funds to explain failure, while providing no accountability for program results. Parents already spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies yearly; all taxpayers spend $13,748 on each student (more than St. Francis and Damien up to sixth grade, less than Maryknoll and St. Andrews Priory).

All budgetary increases of the Department of Education should be preceded by transparent, public reports of spending and results so public officials can make better informed decisions. I acknowledge that some teachers try their best. But where is the money going? We deserve better.

 — Wendi Lau, Mililani

Aloha Shirts

“Hawaiian Shirt Day” in Seattle

Fun story on the “aloha shirt” and its role in politics there (“Chad Blair: Do Aloha Shirts Win Campaigns In Hawaii?” Aug. 31). I had never seen one tucked in before, so you have expanded my world.

At The Seattle Times, where editors on the copy desk organized “Hawaiian Shirt Day” once a year, and there was some prize for the best. Both genders participated. I can’t remember the prize because I never won it, although I always participated.

We generally do call them “Hawaiian shirts” here, as does the authoritative New York Times in your piece. But when I am in Hawaii, I will be sure to use the term “aloha shirt.”

I subscribe to Civil Beat and admire the work it produces.

— Jack Broom, Seattle


Stop attacking and bombing Hawaii

I noticed Civil Beat never addressed the cost for each weapon system, each aircraft and ship per hour of operation (“Real-World Damages From RIMPAC Games,” Aug. 31). How about the cumulative taxpayer cost to play war?

I take offense that the USA continues to use Hawaii as their active war zone play area. Stop attacking and bombing Hawaii.

— James Rodrigues, Waianae

Jen Ruggles

She’s earning that paycheck

I reside in Hawaii County’s 5th District and I stand with Jennifer Ruggles to illuminate the illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom (“Big Island: Am I A Criminal? Puna Councilwoman Questions Her Legitimacy,” Aug. 30).

Thank you, Jen, for your bravery in exposing what is undeniable truth!

And yes, keep your paycheck. It is well deserved, the most deserved by far, for standing up for the truth!

— Christopher S. Lawinski, M.D., Pahoa

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