Friday, September 21, 2012

One Profound Moment:
We're Not Victims

Yesterday was my second day of providing direct client service for a group of men who have sexually offended, and I'm once again lost in contemplation about the conversations we had for those two short hours. Words cannot express how truly grateful I am to have the opportunity to be part of their group and to share with them in those moments of profound realization and epiphany.

The only way I can truly say thank you is to pass it on.

The following took place within a larger discussion of society and the general community. The men began to talk about what they wished the community knew about them:

Man One: 
I wish people knew that I'm a victim of my offense too - yeah, there are real victims here, my victims, and I don't want to diminish that - but I'm not just going on with my horrible evil life like nothing happened. Everyone involved has suffered from my offense - myself included. I don't think people see that, and I wish they did.

Man Two: 
But we're not victims of our offenses - at least not the way I see it. My victim had no control over the situation; they couldn't control the fact that I was in their midst and that I chose to act on my unhealthy desires. I didn't choose to have unhealthy thoughts and desires, no, but I chose to act on them. And that's on me. A victim has no control over what happened to them - I had control and I lost it.



  1. Profound is right. What incredible lessons. Thank you for sharing these comments. It's helps me view offenders as people, which is important. I don't want to box anyone in.

  2. One of my main reasons for posting these little snippets is to restore a sense of personhood for these men, so I'm glad to hear you say that. I sit amongst them and I see them, but I'm aware that an outsider looking in might not see what I see. I'm trying to change that, even if just a little bit.