Disclaimer: This was hard for me to write. It may be hard to read. Please take care of you if you choose to read on. If something squeezes your heart too tight – listen to that. Take a break and come back later. These words will not leave.
His lip quivered as he spoke on the stand.
“She is powerful,” he said, his arms thicker than my thin thighs, “Powerful just like her mother.” I stare at his huge hands – they look like clubs. They were. Hands that smashed her, ripped her babies from her arms, and ruthlessly raped them.
It’s amazing how powerless, the powerful claim to be.
He hired Joel Pink, the best criminal lawyer in the Maritimes. This was his second arrest, if convicted, his second incarceration – but his offenses numbered into the thousands. Justice Pink looked like Mr. Clean I recall. I was fifteen. It was a case “He did, She said.” I was not enough evidence. I never have been.
I had to leave the home of course, into a new high school where two predators awaited. One was my high school teacher/mentor and another the manager at my first job. I got an education and on the job training alright. No reports. No investigation. No justice. No victory.
I married at eighteen, birthed my first baby at twenty-one – nearly dying of sepsis in the process. The predatory pediatrician on call – made me his next target. With the precision of a surgeon – he dissected deep, destroying what remained of my dignity. This “Christian” pediatrician was diabolical in his creativity for grooming and sexual abuse. Being reported by another victims family – eventually he was investigated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was reprimanded. I was ruined. No justice. No victory.
Hopeless and hurting, I went to a church looking for help right into the hands of a pastoral predator who fleeced his flock financially, abused his pastoral power, wielded the word like a weapon. We went through an “ecclesiastical trial.”
We were ruined. He was restored. We were isolated. He was exalted. We were left vulnerable. He was venerated. No justice. No victory.
Left vulnerable we were devastated by another elite deviant.
If it seems like justice is elusive – that is because it is. Sexual abuse is the one crime that leaves the victim with more shame than the offender. Must we try to hold offenders to account? Yes – we must. I reluctantly remind you that victories for abuse victims are rare (3%) and often pyrrhic in nature – wherein the cost of getting victory often offsetting the victory itself.
“There is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” – Charles de Montesquieu
Boy, I’ll say.
Where does that leave me? Where does that leave you? Where does that leave us? We, the majority for whom justice will never be adjudicated and for whom victory is a vapor?
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel
Where I have been powerless to prevent abuse, I WILL protest. Ironically it is the “Protestants” from whom I have been powerless to prevent abuse – and about whom I protest.