If any good can come from the case against alleged rapist and Republican political fundraiser Gregory Peterson, it could be this: A golden opportunity for state and congressional leaders to commit themselves and serious money to advocacy and assistance programs for victims of sexual violence.
GOP leaders have moved quickly to distance themselves from Peterson. Still, at the very least the case should convince them that sexual predators exist in every walk of life. They are our neighbors, our community leaders, our work colleagues, our fellow church-goers. Their victims are our children, our siblings, our friends, our spouses.
This is a plea for Gov. Gary Herbert to include in his next budget fixed and dependable funding for services that help victims to heal, and for legislators to support him. This is a call out for Congress to end election-year posturing over reauthorizing the Violence against Women Act. Until congressional leaders reconcile two conflicting versions of the bill, millions of dollars for victim advocacy sit idle.
Our politicians can lament the Greg Petersons of the world, or they can help build a society that won't tolerate sexual violence. The choice seems obvious.
Holly Mullen Executive director Rape Recovery Center
Salt Lake City