“Let me get this straight,” said Doug. “First you want me to shut down the comments section so no one can see these threats. Now you want me to publish those threats?”
“We’ll black out my address and any other sensitive information, but I want people to see what’s happening,” said Lilah as she sat on the edge of Doug’s desk.
“So you can, what? Shame them?”
“Not them. The police. Although I am hoping that connecting these people’s names to their threats will have an effect.” Finding out the names of the people behind the usernames had been easy enough. Lilah had hardly needed any of her investigative journalism skills to do that. And yet it was still more than the police had bothered to do.
“You want to take on the police?”
“Not exactly. Maybe? I don’t know. I just want someone to pay attention to this issue, and right now I’m getting nowhere. But I also know that I’m lucky to work for a national newspaper with hundreds of thousands of readers. The press is designed to keep the public informed of issues like this.”
“The press is designed to keep the public informed of issues that affect them – the public. Not so you can pursue a personal vendetta against your local police department.”
“Doug, do you really think I’m the only woman going through this?”
Doug didn’t have an answer.
“If it’s happening here, it’s happening all over the country. There’s nothing special about me or my police department – it goes deeper than that. It has to do with the fact that I’m a woman, and as such, my life is perceived to be less valuable than that of a man’s.”
“That’s not true.”
“Yeah, well, you can tell me that in the next life, when you get reincarnated as a woman. But with any luck, I’ll be reincarnated as a man so I won’t listen to anything you have to say anyway.”
Doug smiled as he hung his head. Their debates on sexism often ended this way and he never had an answer to her reincarnation theory. He suspected that was why she brought it up. “All right. I’ll do a little research and see if there’s any interest, but I’m not promising anything yet.”
“Thanks, Doug,” she said as she got up and headed for the door.
“Now where are you going?”
“I have an appointment with a security specialist. If the police aren’t going to do anything to keep me safe, I’m just going to have to do it myself.”
To be continued…