Reply To: Bitterness, hatred, and lifelong repercussions — is there a better way?

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Glen

Well said Sandy. I’ve often felt and wished there were some reasonable way for an offender who’s owned up to their mistakes and pain they may have causes to victims in such a way that shows genuine regret. Assuming the lifelong pyschological pain and suffering by victims as a result of any sexual offense is so traumatic (I don’t dispute that at all), I do wish there were a more productive way that both the victim and offender could heal and move forward. Often times lost in the story is an offender is repeating a pattern of sexual abuse that they may have previously experienced as well. That is not to be inferred as an excuse for continued offensive behavior; merely a recognition that there are repeated cycles that need to be broken. As I learned going through all of this, our sexual interests and patterns are most determined at an early age and impacted by our own experiences. It’s not always just the victim that is carrying around lifelong pain, and in some cases bitterness. Believe it or not, there really are even offenders that upon learning how their offensive behavior hurt someone truly regret and empathize with their victims and sincerely want to change the cycle of abuse. Punishment for offensive and abusive behavior and crimes is warranted. No doubt about that here, but punishment alone wont solve this problem. I don’t know how to bring both sides together with the current attitudes against offenders and the real hurt victims have experienced. But, if any progress is to be made by either party, it seems to me a real discussion involving both sides… listening…needs to happen. Otherwise, seems all that comes of it is pain and punishment. Healing, learning, and moving forward are aspects that seem forgotten along the process. And those are aspects I think everyone benefit from.