Guest column by Orange Chief of Police Tom Kisela
On Aug. 25, 2016, I was invited to speak at the orientation for new students. Unfortunately, some of my comments were not well-received and my intent was misunderstood in The Panther the following day. Therefore, please allow me to expand on my views that prompted my comments.
Women should feel safe and be free of threats in all places and at all times. However, this is not the reality in which we live. Counseling young women to be cautious about drinking at parties is in no way meant to be misogynistic or a subtle effort at attaching blame to the victims of sexual assault. It was said in hopes that there will be no victims.
It is unfortunate that we live in a time when there are those who will take advantage of opportunities to commit horrible acts, a point that should have been emphasized during the orientation.
Those who commit those acts might suffer appropriate consequences such as jail time, probation and fines. They might even be appropriately branded as sex offenders for life. While these consequences are serious, they in no way compare to the life-long psychological impact carried by the victim.
My comments were not intended to cast blame on victims. I am simply asking that you not put yourself in the position where you are exposed to greater risk unnecessarily. Statistically, women are significantly more likely to be the victims of sexual assault than men. Therefore, it only made sense to focus my comments on those most likely to be victimized. However, that is not to exclude men from being victimized as well.
I started my comments at the orientation meeting by saying that my goal was to see all of you leave Chapman safe, intact, unharmed and alive. As for furthering patriarchal values, yes, I am. Besides being the chief of police, I’m also a father to a daughter that I dearly love. When she eventually goes off to college, I will be giving her similar advice about the dangers associated with drinking. I want her to be safe, to have every opportunity life can afford her and to teach her as best I can.
My goal and hope is, and will be, that you all leave Chapman safe, intact, unharmed and alive. As always, it is my commitment that the men and women of the Orange Police Department will do all they reasonably can to see that happen.
To read The Panther’s editorial on Kisela’s speech, click here.
Read a guest column about Kisela’s speech from a male perspective here.
If you would like to submit a column on this subject, contact opinions editor Doug Close at firstname.lastname@example.org.