I could not believe this when I heard about it; I had to go read the news story for myself at the Baltimore Sun website. I encourage you all to read it, too. It refers to a flyer that the OB folks were passing out, which a Baltimore Sun reporter got hold of. It's in reaction, presumably, to a sexual assault suffered by a woman in Occupy Cleveland.
I love how the quoted flyer suggests that victims should immediately bring the matter to the Occupy Baltimore security committee so that the issue can be mediated and the attacker receive counseling. There is no mention, I notice, of victims being offered any counseling. Victims do, of course, have "every right" report these crimes to the police, but Occupy Baltimore would really prefer to discourage the involvement of the police in their community. At least, that's the message I'm getting from the part of the flyer that was quoted.
There is such a thing as being too nice to bad people. If you bend over backward for bad people, they will exploit the kindness shown to them for everything they can wring from it. This is something the normal person ought to know by the time they're 18, and, from what I hear, the Occupiers are mostly in their twenties.
Counseling alone has to be about the most ineffective way of dealing with sex offenders that I have ever heard of. I used to work with these people. Give most of them half a chance, and they will re-offend. It is appalling to me that these folks are placing their group's reputation above people's safety.
I could compare them to the Catholic Church, and I think I will. Sorry, but if you try to handle these things internally, without involving the police, when you don't actually know how to provide counseling--to attackers, much less to their victims--you're just as bad as the Church hierarchy that used to shuffle offending priests around from parish to parish, hoping no one would find out. Like the church, the Occupiers don't want anyone finding out about incidents unfavorable to the Occupation.
If Occupy Baltimore won't have consideration for their own people, it should come as no surprise that they won't have consideration for everyone else, and do what they can to get these sex offenders off the streets.
Another issue that concerns me is the insularity that this flyer's tone indicates. If you start to feel that you are only answerable to internal rules and not accountable for your actions to the greater community as a whole, that's bad. It means you can feel free to do anything, as long as your little group condones it.
I don't want people like that anywhere near me or near any of you.