I mean, seriously, the “back to the land movement” was supposed to stand for something. Yet we resist all environmental regulation we would impose on everyone else. We create economies with no accountability and freak out when it brings in undesirable elements, on the street or in the homes. And we’ve generated a culture of silence and isolation which has victimized women, and while the examples in the article are extreme, they are not new! We cannot put all this on newcomers. I’ve heard stories from credible sources dating back to the 1970s – occurrences which should just be so much more rare than they are given the stated community values.
I’ve had clients come in and ask for restraining orders because of threats from neighbors or land partners. I’ve ask, “Have you contacted the Sheriff?” They respond, “No, my neighbors don’t want law enforcement up on that hill.”
Then damn it, the neighbors need to step in! If you’re going to deprive people of protection under the law, then you had better come up with a substitute. Meanwhile, a restraining order has to be enforced by the Sheriff. I can’t wave a magic wand in the courtroom for you.
And there is absolutely no excuse for allowing the women in the article to be victimized that way. Yes, the community is accountable to them.
Addendum: Thanks to John Chiv for pointing out the actual author: Shoshana Walter. Thanks still to Kym for keeping these issues in the light. Other brave local writers have covered these issues, most notably Linda Stansberry. We really need this out into the open and seriously we need public meetings to discuss this and what is to be done.