Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

August 27, 2013

Fear of 911 publicity causes some not to make the call

BLUEFIELD — DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine was a victim of domestic violence. When I asked her why she didn’t phone 911 for help, her response was, “They play those 911 calls on the radio all the time.” She didn’t want her prominent husband’s career damaged by adverse publicity.

Today, a group of us discussed the issue over breakfast. Many of the women said that because of the popularity of 911 calls being broadcast on the Internet, radio and TV, they’d be hesitant to phone for help when needed, too.

Abby, someone is going to suffer serious harm out of fear that their call for help will be publicized. Do you know what can be done about this new “drama entertainment"? I wouldn’t want my terrified call heard by the public either, so I’d take my chances without calling for help. I just hope I don’t wake up dead one day as a result. — PUBLICITY-SHY IN FLORIDA

DEAR PUBLICITY-SHY: Nothing can be done about “drama entertainment” as long as the public has an appetite for it. The reason for the practice of “if it bleeds, it leads” in the media is that it draws viewers and listeners — which means advertising revenue.

In the case of domestic violence, calling 911 is the lesser of two evils. Out-of-control abusers have been known to maim and kill the ones they “love.” Ask yourself if your friend’s husband’s career was worth risking her life for. It makes more sense to risk a 911 call being broadcast than to have cameras and TV reporters camped on your lawn while the EMTs or the coroner carry your battered, bloody body out on a gurney.

DEAR ABBY: I’m overweight and have a family history of heart disease and diabetes. An injury to my back severely limits my ability to exercise, so diet is an important part of my health plan.

My problem is people CONSTANTLY try to get me to eat. I explain my situation, but they still urge me to have “just a taste.” If I go to a party and shy away from the buffet, the host feels I’m being rude. Recently, my supervisor at work became insulted because I refused some food she brought to a work meeting.

These people wouldn’t be upset if an alcoholic refused a drink, so why are they so hostile to me? (Another thing that upsets me is when somebody dies an early death, these same folks say, “He should have taken better care of himself.") — UNDER ATTACK IN ARIZONA

DEAR UNDER ATTACK: For many people, food has become something other than fuel for the body. It can symbolize love, caring, acceptance — and when it is refused it can seem like a personal rejection to the person offering it. (Yes, I know it’s crazy.)

Your best defense is to remind your hosts, your supervisor, your co-workers and friends that you have a family history of health problems and are on a doctor-advised restricted diet to manage it. Remind these generous souls that socializing is more about the company than the food, and you are grateful that they understand.

Text Only
Entertainment
Lifestyles
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
BBQ My Way