Re: “Backpage rapist gets up to life for attacks,” (TNT, 5/20).
The story of the rapist who found victims via easy access to internet sites like Backpage.com should be of interest to anyone concerned about crime and justice. But the deeper message in the story is of poverty and violence.
Women who sell sex often perceive themselves as having few other options for survival. Most were sexually and/or physically abused as minors. These adverse childhood experiences set one up for a future of higher rates of chronic disease, poverty, and shorter life expectancy.
These public health threats are preventable, in part, by increasing awareness of the dangers hidden in the “dating” section of Backpage.com. A victim of violence suffers more than the fractures and bruises delivered by the perpetrator of the moment. She suffers lifelong mental health, physical well-being and economic disparities.