Wake Up Call to Women’s Safety
March 25, 2010
Filed under Opinion
The recent news about Chelsea King’s rape and murder has not only raised the awareness of women’s safety but put into question the current sex offender laws in California.
On Feb. 25 Chelsea King, a Poway High School senior was reported missing after going on a jog. The following days came as a shock to many when it was discovered that registered sex offender John Gardner III was arrested in connection to the disappearance and rape of King.
Only five days after being reported missing, her body was found in Lake Hodges. Soon after King was found, tips led the police to focus on the 14-year-old Amber Dubois case that may have been connected to Gardner, led to her body being found March 6.
In the coming months the public will find out what will happen to John Gardner. These murders have raised questions as to how predators like Gardner could be released after serving only 5 out of his 6 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2000 to molesting a 13-year-old.
On the Megan’s Law website Gardner is listed as living in Lake Elsinore but was staying at his parents’ house in Rancho Bernardo. One thing still leaving many people disturbed is why his parents didn’t notify anyone about Gardner staying with them, and why his probation officer was not keeping up to date with his whereabouts.
With new disturbing facts about Gardner, there has been rallying for stricter sex offender laws and a plea for harsher punishment for first offenses.
Here at Mesa there is no doubt that many people spend time walking to the parking lots or the parking structure. Although some may feel safe walking from school to their cars, there is always a chance of danger. Not only have these murders opened eyes when it comes to women’s safety but it has also changed how they look at sex offender laws.
Websites like womensweb.ca and powertochange.com offer some tips on how to stay safe. The most important tip seems to be staying aware of more than just your surroundings. According to powertochange.com, attackers often look for people who look unaware of what’s going on around them. Tips also include always going with your “gut instinct” when feeling unsure or unsafe anywhere, not walking alone in dark areas, bringing a friend along when walking or jogging and taking self defense classes.
One may never think that the Chelsea King or Amber Dubois incidents can happen to them but these murders have only come as a wake up call to women’s safety and the current sex offender laws in California.