Fire Sandy Rios
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On the February 15, 2018 edition of "Sandy Rios in the Morning," American Family Radio morning host Sandy Rios discussed the growing scandal surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.
Porter was forced to resign on February 6 in the face of accusations that he physically abused his first wife, Colbie Holderness, and emotionally abused his second wife, Jennifer Willoughby. The FBI found Holderness and Willoughby's accounts credible enough to delay the vetting required for Porter to receive his permanent security clearance.
However, Rios used the Porter story to suggest that women who claim they have been abused shouldn't be believed.
"I just don’t think you can trust women now when they say they’re being abused. I have a total mistrust. We saw this happen with Justice (Roy) Moore. I understand there are abusive relationships, but on a scale of one to 10 there’s a lot of variance, is there not?"
Rios went on to heap scorn on women who claim to have been victims of emotional abuse, saying that much of what some women construe as abuse is actually 'what men do when they are mad." Rios claimed that the emotional abuse Holderness and Willoughby described was "so mild" compared to accounts of abuse she'd heard in the past.
This kind of talk is exactly why victims of domestic violence often wait years to come forward, if they come forward at all. They fear that no one will believe them. Indeed, one big reason victims remain silent is fear that their church family will throw them to the curb when they should be among the very people to whom they turn for comfort. Seen in this light, Rios' statement is particularly ignorant and callous.
It's even more so considering that Holderness and Willoughby were both discouraged from coming forward by Mormon church officials. Additionally, Rachel Denhollander, the first woman to accuse Larry Nassar of molesting her, was run out of her church after coming forward.
Can you imagine a victim listening to this screed from Rios either on the radio or online? This kind of claptrap could discourage her from coming forward--and potentially allow a predator to remain free. This cannot stand, especially if the church is going to get its collective head out of its collective rear end regarding its response to sexual assault.
American Family Association president Tim Wildmon says he welcomes a broad spectrum of opinion on American Family Radio. But this is one issue on which there is no other side. Rios must be fired, and fired immediately.
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