Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Too Many Victims

How's my mental health today?

It is what it is.

I've been reflecting on other things.

Last Friday evening Heidi and I went to the opening of an art show at the Mennonite Heritage Building Gallery entitled Indescribable: It's all about murder. The works of art were done by 3 artists who had lost a very close family member to murder and two artist friends who were part of the group of friends that been supportive especially through a recent murder trial.

The art was incredible. It reflected so much of the artists' process of dealing with murder and the aftermath, including the trial and conviction of the accused in one of the cases.

I met a couple I hadn't seen in close to 5 years at the art show. As we were talking I learned that they were preparing themselves for attending a murder trial that began earlier this week. The difference was, they were related to the accused.

That got me thinking about how many people are victimized through horrific crimes like murder.

Families and friends who've lost a loved one to murder. Family and friends of the accused perpetrator(s). Family and friends of the convicted killer(s). Jurors who are traumatized by the evidence they see and hear.

Our news has been reporting on three murder trials over the past weeks and months, and at least one of those trials will continue to be in the news for the next 2 months. In all 3 cases the victims were apparently killed by family members.

Over the past few years a lot of effort has been expended to develop support services for the victims of crime, especially murder.

How does one sort out the victims and offer them supportive services in these complex situations?

In a recently concluded case 3 family members were convicted of first degree murder in the deaths of 4 women. The murder was supposedly an "honour killing". How many people were traumatized by these murders? How many are grieving the loss of these 4 women? How many are grieving the wasted years the convicted now face? How many are angered because they believe the killings were justifiable according to their cultural and religious views? How does one sort out the complexity of emotions and issues in this one case?

And what about the other 2 cases currently before the courts?

What about the jurors and others involved in the legal process? Who helps them cope? Yesterday the news media reported that the jurors in the most recently begun trial were each handed a large binder of photos. How will they respond to the brutality apparently depicted there? Who will help them cope?

So many victims! so much pain! So much anger! So much hatred!

It's disconcerting. It's depressing. So much forgiveness needed.

Who's there to help?

Do you see how you hurt me, baby? So I hurt you too. 
Then we both get so blue. I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, 
looking for the key to set me free. 
~ Joni Mitchell 

No comments:

Post a Comment