Dunleavy to Walker: Is Choose Respect dead?


Mike Dunleavy, running for governor of Alaska, today said he is dismayed that Gov. Bill Walker during his State of the State Address on Thursday did not mention the scourge of domestic violence and sexual assault.

For the past several years, Alaska governors have focused on these problems in their State of the State speeches, because these crimes are worse in Alaska than in any other state. Gov. Sean Parnell made Choose Respect his signature cause and involved every department in the state in addressing it.

40 percent of women in relationships have experienced violence from their partner, 33 percent have experienced sexual violence, and a stunning 50 percent have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or both.

Dunleavy wrote:

This message is to those men and women who have been victimized by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. I believe you. What happened to you is NOT your fault. The predator that hurt you must be held accountable and if you were failed by Alaska as so many victims are, I am sorry. You deserve better.

I am passionate about this, having worked with thousands of Alaskan kids and families in rural Alaska. I am not using this as a “platform” to get elected, as so many have before me. I want to be elected so I can help you, and put away those that hurt you.

I’m sorry, so sorry that our state leader didn’t even mention you as he addressed the state of the state. Didn’t even acknowledge the thousands of men and women and children whose lives are derailed by trauma, didn’t even acknowledge the serial perpetrators that hurt our villages, our neighborhoods.

I don’t know why Governor Walker has abandoned you, I can’t understand or fathom why he doesn’t think the epidemic of child abuse, child sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape that destroys our families doesn’t demand state attention. I do. I WILL do everything in my power to help you.

I WILL demand more from our state on your behalf. Predators, you’re on notice. I WILL believe the victims. I WILL make certain our law enforcement and prosecutors believe, investigate and lock you up. I will not let this break Alaska anymore. Domestic violence and sexual assault hurts our people. I love Alaska. I love our people.

Those that hurt our people, your time is up. – Mike Dunleavy

The Choose Respect initiative that was launched in 2009 has all but disappeared under Walker, who has shifted his focus to building a gasline.


  1. Well said sir. We must take care of those who have been victimized. Time for them to get the help they need instead of the criminals. From what the Walkers administration has done with Sb 91 the criminals are getting help first over the victims. Please everyone we must stand behind a Governor who cares about the people not an agenda. Vote for Mike Dunleavy for Governor cause he will get the job done.

  2. What an extraordinarily cheap shot at Governor Walker. If Dunleavy is so concerned about public safety, the welfare of abused women and children, and justice for other victims, why did he voluntarily leave his position of power where he might do something about it? Just like Palin, he bailed before his term was up. Dunleavy talks a tough line, but as a Texas acquaintance of mine once said, it could be “He’s all hat and no saddle.” And, he’s a quitter.

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