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Victims can’t blame themselves

Dear Editor,

It’s tragic to hear about human trafficking. For years Western men travelled to Asia to violate young boys and girls. Now we hear about it is in Oshawa. Those who suffer at the hands of predators, do so in silence and shame, blaming themselves. Some turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. It is not your fault. That solely belongs to the perpetrator. God’s love for you is not determined by how others treat you or by judges charged with sentencing criminals. You are loved unconditionally by God. If you will allow Him, He will bring healing. Do not remain silent; tell someone you trust. Get the counselling you need, whether it’s psychological or spiritual or to break free of substance abuse.

The value we place on another human is not determined by how we treat them or how sentences are levied against those who hurt them. Sadly, a Superior Court justice, a woman, struck down a law that said intoxication is not a valid defense for sexual assault, devaluing women. There is no excuse. If there was ever a case for invoking the notwithstanding clause this is it. We took a turn for the worse, when we made a cultural icon of those  who said it was ok to objectify women? So why are we now surprised by all these cases of sexual harassment and assault. And it is far more prevalent than we know. Free sex is never free, especially for girls and women.

I have never been a victim so this is easy for me to say. For those who are, for your sake, forgive your perpetrator. If will be the hardest thing to do, but if you don’t, you will suffer physically, emotionally and spiritually. He won’t. What we cannot do in our own strength, God will help. It will always be a part of you, but forgiveness will set you free. That does not absolve the person who hurt you. He must still pay for his crimes. And let’s not go easy on him.

Joe Prochazka