Despite the occasional gray areas in life, most of us know ourselves enough to say what we would or would not do when put in any given situation. In fact, we often pride ourselves on being generally good people, people who can control ourselves and our emotions no matter the circumstance. Those murderers, rapists, and thieves are the ones that need to be condemned, for they are the ones who are clearly deficient in good human character. We would never kill, steal, or rape. Right?
Let’s talk about those gray areas. Enter the area where human will and human nature collide, where you steal because you’re hungry and you sodomize because it is what was done to your eight-year-old daughter.
As described by the Associated Press, in Fort Worth, TX, a father of an eight-year-old girl allegedly caught his 18-year-old stepson assaulting his daughter. When the young girl was taken to the hospital, an examination revealed that she had, in fact, been sodomized. Subsequently, the stepson was arrested. When the stepson was released on bond, the father drove him to an abandoned house, beat him with a baseball bat, and then sodomized him with a metal tool.
It was a crime for the father to go after his stepson. That is what the law says, and that is what we all know. Furthermore, it is what we all must believe in order for the law to work. But that doesn’t make it any easier, because for once some of us may be on the same side as those whom we have been so readily willing to condemn. Where we were once shouting “Do right!” we are now screaming “An eye for an eye!”
Crime causes pain and pain can be released through crime. This is a potentially dangerous cycle that every victim of any crime could face. This requires us to view crime prevention in a different and more progressive way. More immediate and effective ways of reaching out to the parents, friends, and siblings of victims must be created. This could mean forming partnerships with local counseling agencies or volunteers to meet with parents at the hospital where their hurt child is taken or at the police station where they are filing a report. Immediate assessment of the parent’s mental and emotional state may also be necessary to prevent a violent problem from occurring in the future.