The account of Miss America, Carolyn Suzanne Sapp, of her abuse at the hands of a former fiancé (PEOPLE, Oct. 14) touched many correspondents, who wrote of their own experiences as victims and offered her their support.
CAROLYN SUZANNE SAPP
I can’t tell you how much Carolyn Sapp’s story moved me, for I too was the victim in an abusive relationship. Unlike Carolyn, I was never physically abused, but I was verbally and emotionally abused. For almost four years I put up with the name calling, the crude remarks and the false accusations. Each time I left him I blamed myself for his behavior. I believed him every time he said he was sorry and how much he loved me. I kept going back to him because I too knew that I could “change” him. It has been seven months since I was forced to get a restraining order. Now if I can only stop loving him.
NAME WITHHELD, Fresno, Calif.
I am appalled by the violent treatment of Carolyn Sapp by her “lover” Nuu Faaola, a former professional football player. Mr. Faaola allegedly kicked and beat Miss Sapp repeatedly and even threatened her life at knifepoint. He admits, “I was very aggressive and I had a temper. The person to throw rocks at is me.” Instead of throwing rocks at Mr. Faaola, I suggest that anyone who is guilty of the violent conduct Miss Sapp described should be thrown in jail.
CAREN D. MYERS, Tulsa, Okla.
Thank God Carolyn Sapp came forward and admitted her dirty little secret. Thank God too that unlike so many other women who do not have her good fortune or vast resources, she recognizes that the problem is his, not hers.
SONYIA HARTWELL, Prairie, Texas
Carolyn Suzanne Sapp turns out to be beautiful but dumb. Any woman who continues a relationship with a man who hit her just once needs to have her head examined.
EVELYN ROWLAND, San Francisco
“Kim’s Brave Journey” was a loving tribute to a young woman who will probably never know many of the joys that those on Capitol Hill have experienced. How the Senate could not be affected by Kim’s words is beyond belief. The opposition says that mandatory AIDS testing is unnecessary, prejudicial and costly? Well, I say that Kim’s contracting this horrible disease is unnecessary, prejudicial and costly; it’s costing her her life. God bless you, Kim, you’ve done a very courageous thing.
CHAR WHITE, Sonora, Calif.
People who argue that mandatory AIDS testing would provide a “false sense of security” are missing the whole point. The question to be asked is, Would mandatory testing provide any security at all? Of course, the answer is yes. AIDS-infected people should not be politically protected simply because homosexuals stand to gain by not being identified. AIDS should be treated as a health issue and not as a political one. Any measures to protect the public ought to be employed. Infected medical workers, gay or straight, should be removed from the mainstream, just as TB-infected health workers are.
ELAINE BROWN, Lacey, Wash.
Kimberly Bergalis’s story is very sad, but mandatory testing of health-care workers is not the answer. As a nurse working in a metropolitan hospital, my risk of contracting AIDS from a patient is far greater than a patient’s risk of contracting AIDS from a health-care worker. I’ll agree to have an AIDS test when all patients entering a hospital agree also. Patients lie and deceive just like doctors and nurses do. No matter how careful you are, the risk is still there.
SHERRY WADDELL-MILLER, Belle Mead, N.J.
Your puff piece on Kimberly Bergalis is all too typical of the unquestioning media coverage her story has received. Two facts are consistently ignored. First, her tragic infection with HIV was the result of improper sterilization techniques, not a lack of mandatory testing. Second, that any person with AIDS would ally himself or herself with Rep. William Danne-meyer—whose only interest in the epidemic is to exploit the fear of it to advance his virulently homophobic agenda—is deeply troubling.
STEVE OMLID, San Francisco
Having just read the piece on Douglas Coupland and his so-called Xers, I can’t help but be struck by the notion that this guy is another whiny product of the post-Reagan era. He’s not pissed off that the world is a sewer filled with the by-products of greed and selfish arrogance. He’s pissed off that it’s not coming to him fast enough. He can’t grab his piece of the pie right out of the crib. My so-called Baby Boomer generation may have gotten fat, but not without fighting for just a few small ideals first, like civil rights, peace and the planet. We may have been rude, not pretty to look at and arrogant too, but dammit, we cared. And one other thing: As I sit in this office I occupy, I do not feel guilty. I worked for 20 years for it. I earned it, and that’s one thing Coupland can’t seem to grasp. It’s not all just coming to him because he breathes. If the Xers have to learn anything, it’s that you still have to pay your dues.
PAM MILLER-ALAGR, Burbank, Calif.