Bare tree branches before dusky sky

This morning there was a headline about a local gang rape that occurred several years ago. The article related the circumstances of the rape, and also the various issues for the victim as she sought justice, and closure.

I have many feelings about this circumstance.

First, my gut twists. Vague flashes of my experience come to mind. Part of me, despite my best efforts, imagines how much more horrible this woman’s experience would have been than my own. I feel her violation, anger, but most strangely, I feel her shock.

Second, I think about the perpetrators. I think how twisted and broken they must be to think this was acceptable behavior – under any circumstance. I think how strange and perverse it is for several men to decide they want to rape and beat a woman. Hatred and fear most certainly drive such creatures.

Then I think about the philosophies in our society to address and explain such horrors as this. Does a victim attract such a circumstance?

Absolutely not.

Even if we believe in manifesting principles, this is the kind of act where a person is being acted upon. Such a perverse and driven motivation has incredible strength behind it. It is most certainly NOT the victim’s fault.

Another response is: everything happens for a reason.

Well, it is true there was motivation behind this. There was something that made these men decide to act this way. But some higher purpose to this woman’s suffering? No. Not inherently. Not from the beginning.

Let me offer you the same lesson I’ve shared in other times and places: this was a senseless act carried out by broken people who if they receive help, will have gotten it later than they should have. The woman who suffered by their actions, has the opportunity now to transform herself. She has the opportunity to summon terrific strength and power, and explore and accept herself at her deepest core. It will take time. She will need love and care from those around her, counselors, and other resources. I don’t know this woman, but I know anyone is capable of such profound post-traumatic growth.

It is my sincerest hope that justice is served. It is my sincerest hope that the broken be made whole. I wish for compassion and restoration, for all involved, including the community. I believe this is the surest path to healing. I believe this is the best way for all to thrive.

Responding to Trauma
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