Coming Out Courageous: A Crime Victim Speaks
Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to email@example.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either your photograph or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication.
A crime victim (who prefers to remain anonymous but whose identify is confirmed) wrote the following about the experience of dealing with the crime, law enforcement, the courts and the emotional aftermath:
Having said that, here is my story.
I have spent my life trying to be a good person; helping others, loving animals, loving nature, being peaceful. I don’t like guns, I don’t own a gun. My world had no room to think about violence.
One night all that was shattered. In two minutes or less my home was broken into, my person was assaulted, my life was changed.
I now think of my life as before and after the incident.
In addition to the violent acts that occurred that night, I felt as though the victimization continued.
I felt re-victimized by the police. They questioned me in a manner that would indicate I had done something to bring this horrible act on myself. They disregarded my efforts to tell them otherwise.
Later, I felt re-victimized by the booking process. One party responsible for the violent act was nearly released because someone had not done their paperwork. It took many phone calls and climbing the chain of command to have the paperwork delivered only twenty minutes before the jail would have had to let that person go free.
And again, I felt re-victimized by the court system. I have had to endure endless delays and continued court dates. Each time I am required to attend to ensure my rights as a victim are being looked after.
I have been repeatedly subpoenaed to appear in court, only to have the proceeding delayed again. Each time needing to arrange my life and state of mind in a manner to accommodate the criminal and the court system.
Behind the scenes, I am left to cope with these continued re-victimizations. Dealing with changes in my character. I am left feeling isolated, feeling threatened, feeling vulnerable, feeling the loss of control over my life.
I now attend regular counseling visits, trying to sort through the trauma. Trying to regain my Self.
All of this because someone decided to invade my home, my world, my life. They did this with malicious intent. Their intent was for their personal gain at any cost.
Through it all, I feel I am coming out courageous. I fought back at my home, I fought back with the police, I fought back with the booking process, I fought back with the court system. I fought back with my personal self.
I don’t like to ever consider myself a victim. I have had cancer twice and never considered myself a victim then, I will not consider myself a victim now.
I am not a victim, I am a defeater. I defeated cancer. I will defeat the people responsible for trying to make me a victim.
Image: “Crime” by Abu badali, based on public domain Aiga’s icons. – Self made, based on Aiga’s icons.This vector image was created with Inkscape.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crime.svg#/media/File:Crime.svg