Occupy Baltimore Works To Create Safe Space; Statement About Crime Reporting Causes Concern

BALTIMORE (AP) — Occupy Baltimore is trying to create a space that is safe for the free expression of ideas and physically safe for participants while balancing some members’ unease with authorities.

But a security statement from the group is sparking concern that it will discourage people from reporting crimes in the plaza they are occupying downtown.

The statement says sexual abuse or assault won’t be tolerated and violators aren’t welcome. It acknowledges that while the group doesn’t encourage police involvement, a survivor has the right to report abuse to authorities.

The statement caught the attention of a blogger who says he’s concerned it will discourage sex abuse reporting. The heads of three rape crisis centers and a nurse who runs the forensic division at an area hospital also called the message dangerous.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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