Victims voice’s need to be be heard too. When Jennifer Bishop came to speak in class, I was completely touched. I have had a little experience with a victim of a crime. My 2nd cousin’s family was murdered, and the surviving member of that family, my 2nd cousin, returns every year to Leavenworth Maximum Security Prison every year, in Leavenworth Kansas, in order to keep the guilty man from receiving parole. I see how she hurts, just as I saw Jennifer hurting. It is important to take into consideration that the victims aren’t just the ones that literally got physically hurt. Their families and friends are suffering emotionally, as the pain and hurt never fully goes away. I never thought about the ways victims deal with their pain. Either buried away in a place that at any moment can be dug up when a familiar smell, name or memory comes to mind. Or victims can take the pain and turn it around into something positive to help them deal. Websites are dedicated to just this: the victims. After looking over some of them I realized that it never really ends at the funeral or at the courthouse when the guilty are taken away to prison. The real healing happens after everything is finished with the case. After the busy work of arranging and organizing things and talking to people about it all, becomes less normal. When everyone else can move on and return to normalcy, it becomes harder for the victims.
The victims websites really showed me that there are places for people to go to when everyone else has dealt with the pain and literally “forgotten.” A victim never truly moves on. Things still linger, and it is how one choose to deal with those feelings and emotions, that determines how well a person can “move on” to the best of their ability. It was important to hear Jennifer tell us the right and wrong things to say to a victim. Never say “I am sorry for your loss” because what did we lose? A person is not lost because that assumes they can be found. Also, it is also not right to assume a victim has moved on as quickly as everyone else.
Victims, need time, and comfort, and support. They need to be able to express themselves and need to be able to talk about how they are dealing as much as they want. As friends, we are there to support and give comfort. We can never truly know how it feels. But we can do our best to try and make the healing process a little easier. Never jsut forget a victim’s feelings, because in a time when it seems all is hopeless, they need the light at the end of the tunnel to help draw them back into the world. They need that person to let them know whenever they need them, they are there. That is what i found to be the purpose of a lot of the websites I read over.