Awareness of spotting red flags and signs of abuse, of the need to “say something” if you see something and of the call to provide better help to the hurting is growing. Yet after seeing the March 31 article “No windshield, no problem: Georgia woman arrested in Augusta for operating unsafe vehicle” (Page B2), I can’t help but call out the kind of reporting that stifles this awareness and perpetuates a lack of perception in our society.

The news regarding a 25-year-old woman who was found driving a car with a smashed-in windshield all the way from Georgia to Maine, alone, with no clear destination or intentions, raises the question, “What’s really going on in this young woman’s life?” and stirs our consciences to want to make sure she’s safe – the kind of safe that’s not just about a windshield repair. Yet the way the article is written ignores the serious red flags and trivializes them into mere gossip.

The writer reported that passing motorists called for help when they spotted the woman in the breakdown lane “crying or praying,” and yet referred to her in the first paragraph of the story as a “road warrior.” I wouldn’t call someone found in this condition a “road warrior.”

Don’t flippantly sensationalize anything you think is out of the ordinary on the court docket. What good are you bringing to this person’s life by putting her mug shot in the paper and making a mockery out of what sounds like a really messed-up time in her life? I hope there is someone in our state perceptive enough to ask the right questions, not just publish a copy editor’s witty headline about her and her broken windshield.

Peter Hasbrouck

South Portland