Journalist 'live tweets' time spent with a rape victim in Haiti

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Journalist 'live tweets' time spent with a rape victim in Haiti

Jobthingy Jobthingy
Alright so I read about this on Twitter. Story here

I went to the journalists Twitter page and read some of the things she was writing. She was doing it as an eye opener. Seems people are freaking out about it.

Thoughts?

(Below is just some of what she was posting.. of course read from the bottom up. Her feed is found here)

# K, surgery scheduled for Monday at 10. NGO will pay. Hospital will throw the judgment and lectures in for free. Friday, September 17, 2010 1:30:54 PM via tweetymail

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Oh good, reprieve. Dr's gonna make us sit here while her coffee table gets measured for new glass. Friday, September 17, 2010 1:04:26 PM via tweetymail

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I haven't said a WORD, but am now also being lectured on how bad girls get what's coming to them. Friday, September 17, 2010 12:59:56 PM via tweetymail

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Doctor is demanding that I say I understand Kerby was asking for what happened to her. Holy fuck. Friday, September 17, 2010 12:49:37 PM via tweetymail

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Holy fucking shit this dr just told Kerby it's her fault she got raped bc she's a slut and smokes pot. Friday, September 17, 2010 12:43:15 PM via tweetymail

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This dr's consultation room has used gynecological exam materials lying about. And she will not look Kerby in the face. Friday, September 17, 2010 12:41:46 PM via tweetymail

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They kept her for 2 hrs. She was choked so hard that all the blood vessels in her eyes popped, but doctor says they'll heal. Friday, September 17, 2010 12:04:16 PM via tweetymail

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Kerby is 24, tall, slim, mother of 3. Husband died in the quake. She was kidnapped at gunpoint by 5 men and taken to a car for the rape. 12:02 PM Sep 17th via tweetymail

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So, they're gonna have to do tongue reshaping, rather than reattachment, because the guy who bit it off swallowed it. 12:00 PM Sep 17th via tweetymail

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Long ride to the hospital, because this closer one is a pile of rubble being cleared one little wheelbarrow at a time. 11:22 AM Sep 17th via tweetymail

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On my way to the hospital with a girl whose tongue was bitten off when she was raped. 11:21 AM Sep 17th via tweetymail
09/22/2010
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tigerkate tigerkate
Wow, that's intense... I don't use twitter or follow it at all. But I don't think it's wrong for someone to post about treatment a rape victim gets in Haiti. The article said the woman wanted her story told, that she gave permission. Even without that permission, you could take out her name and information- and it's still a jarring and informative piece of journalism told through Twitter.

Of course, without the survivor wanting her story told, I'd question the sincerity and compassion of that journalist, sitting while that woman is being unfairly lectured and examined... While the journalist is just twittering on her mobile device about it. But with permission, it seems matter-of-fact & a way to cut through a lot of the BS that Twitter promotes. Shock-value, sure, but these things happen...
09/22/2010
Blinker Blinker
This is disgusting. Firstly, the way that this journalist is referring to this poor woman. That, and the treatment she is getting. Then again, some women here in the States get treated badly after being raped. It's a shame.
09/22/2010
Jobthingy Jobthingy
Total shock value. I can see her point but I can also see the other hand. She is trying to show how badly women are treated. This poor woman is brutalized and yet being verbally attacked for bringing it on herself by the Doctor no less.

But then you have to wonder if the victim truly understood where this information was going. Does she even know what Twitter is (I doubt it) and just how many people will read this very private, heart breaking event.

I just found it all very interesting because it is so easy to see both sides of the spectrum
09/22/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
To say that the journalist "is just twittering on her mobile device about it" is judging the journalist in much the same way as the rape victim herself is being wrongfully judged. This is very unfair. The journalist is doing what she can to provide moral support to the victim while also documenting the harsh responses and lectures that she (and the victim) have received in their attempts to seek care. Her purpose in Twittering about this seems to be a genuinely honest and heartfelt attempt to show the injustice and horrible conditions that victims face in that particular Third World country. Sadly, her Tweets not only illustrate common attitudes toward victims in that particular country, but they also illustrate the attitude toward victims the world over -- even here in the good ol' U.S.

One person alone cannot change the world. But journalism and honest reporting are very powerful weapons. The pen (or, in this case, pixels in cyberspace) is mightier than the sword. Words alone can cast an illuminating spotlight upon humanity's darkest attitudes and traits.

And one of humanity's ugliest traits is the blaming and mistreatment of victims. It is a topic that is very unpleasant and is a subject that most people would rather not think about. And, in that vein, it is far easier to either (a) criticize any attempt to shed the light of publicity on how victims are treated or (b) to blame the victim themselves. I think that society blames victims because doing so absolves us of any collective responsibility to address a real problem. But by placing a mirror in front of us in the form of honest reporting and then forcing us to take a good hard look at our society's attitudes and assumptions, this type of publicity can be a remarkable catalyst for change.

So, though one may not think so at first blush, to criticize the journalist's attempt to shed light on how society often blames and mistreats victims (which further victimizes them when they seek help) indicates a satisfaction with the status quo. Honestly -- how else can public perception be changed? There is so much junk reported in the news. This is actually news-worthy. It is not just mindless entertainment. It is a gritty, but seriously important, topic that challenges public assumptions to their very core. It is both a wake-up call and a call to action for each and every person to examine their attitudes toward victims and to take action in challenging unfair stereotypes.

The world NEEDS to know how victims are REALLY treated. I think most people consider themselves compassionate. And they assume that victims receive the help they need. If victims are NOT receiving the care, support, and help that they deserve, then I definitely want to know about it.

So, again, instead of criticizing the reporter for trying to bring public awareness about this victim's plight (and hence making it OUR responsibility to challenge such mistreatment), we should be lauding her and encouraging her to keep up her good work. She is actually placing herself in a position of danger to bring this news to the world. She, too, is vulnerable to being victimized just like K. was. And, if you read all of her Tweets, she is acutely aware of this. (She had nightmares of being raped and, when the electricity in her room went out, she was afraid to even open windows to get some relief from the heat. Women are routinely raped and mistreated in that country all the time and, just by being there to bring the truth to the world, she is in danger herself).

Hell, I give kudos to this reporter for her attempt to provide truly news-worthy news and to shine a spotlight into a desolate, dark spot in our world that we would rather not look at. Darkness hates the light.

(Sorry for this long, very disorganized, circular, and rambling rant, but it was quite therapeutic.)
09/22/2010
tigerkate tigerkate
Just to clear my post up (for Selective Sensualist!), 'cause it wasn't very clear, when I said the part about "just twittering on her mobile device," I was saying how I could see how some people view this type of journalism, and if the rape victim hadn't given permission for her story to be told...
just wanted to be clear!
09/23/2010
Total posts: 6
Unique posters: 4