We have all heard about it. We have all rejoiced because three women were found alive after disappearing years ago. But as the days tick by, reporters continue to swarm the neighborhood in Cleveland and the details flood the airwaves, I am growing increasingly concerned.
The level of detail being released by authorities leaves me profoundly uncomfortable. What happened to these three women in Cleveland, Ohio was horrific. I can only begin to imagine their pain - physical and emotional. At what point is the “public’s right to know” superseded by the needs and rights of these three women - and one child - to begin to recover and heal?
I have experienced a few painful and challenging situations in my life. To be clear, they are absolutely as nothing compared to what these women endured. But I only revealed what happened to me to a very few trusted loved ones. To the rest of the world I am a closed book; a blank slate; just another 54 year old woman living her life; out and about in the world. I shudder at the thought of strangers knowing the most painful details of my life. If I imagine going into a grocery store - a delightfully mundane task - and having damn near everyone know my story, well, that leaves me paralyzed.
Clearly these three women are very strong. They survived. They outlasted their kidnapper, abuser, tormentor, evildoer. Perhaps they will draw even more strength and courage from their community. Perhaps they will want to tell their stories - partly as catharsis; partly as inspiration.
But shouldn’t that be their choice?