In Josephine County, Oregon, you had best not have an emergency at night or on weekends.  Due to budget cuts, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon has lost over half its funding and laid off 80% of the deputies. They are no longer able to respond to calls for help that come in after hours and have even stopped arresting people.

This is, of course, a recipe for disaster, as an unidentified woman found out last August. She called 911 as her abusive ex-boyfriend was trying to break into her house. She was told by the dispatcher that no one could help her because of budget cuts.  The best advice the dispatcher could give the woman was to tell her to ask the guy to “go away”. This wasn’t much help – her ex-boyfriend broke in while the woman was still on the phone and ended up raping her and trying to strangle her.

In an interview on Oregon Public Radio, Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilberson stated, “There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t have another victim,” In fact, the department has put out a press release warning people in a “potentially volatile situation” to “consider relocating to an area with adequate law enforcement services.”

But budget cuts aren’t limited to Josephine County. Law enforcement departments across the country are struggling to “do more with less.” What if you, too, called 911 in an emergency, but t no one came? Or it took them so long to get there that the damage was already done? 

Had this un-named woman had a gun and proper gun training, the story could have had a much different ending.  At Her Rights Inc., a local non-profit, we believe that self defense is a human right and that women should know how to defend themselves. We provide FREE First Shots classes to women to give them the training and knowledge they need to safely use a gun and to decide if gun ownership is right for them.

For more information, or to sign up for a free First Shots class, go to www.herrights.org.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Barkha Herman, please call (954) 695-7538 or email her at barkha@herrights.org.