I realize that a lot of people think that this is a attack on a sacred cow, but what you do when the sacred cow has mad cow disease?
This article is probably going to upset a number of people because it is asking questions about a group of people who are supposedly doing good things for others, and so, thereby attacking them or complaining about their actions is basically taboo, but it is really past time to start questioning these people’s real motives and agenda.
Perhaps it is time to actually take a closer look at these so-called victims advocates.The first question that arises is, are they attempting to perpetuate a person’s victimization so that they feel victimized for the rest of their lives, or are they actually trying to help heal the victims so that they can get past their trauma and get on with their lives without the constant feelings that go along with being a victim? I believe it is the advocates that say that a person is a victim for the rest of their lives that are the obvious ones who’s motives are questionable..
The idea that people can not heal from traumatic events and that it must stay with them for the rest of their lives is basically ludicrous. Too many people have had bad things happen to them and yet gone on to live fulfilling lives, it’s like the wound, if you allow it to heal there is a small scar, but if you were to cut it open or poke and prod at it every day not allowing it time to heal one of two things is going to happen, it’s either going to turn into a major infection that could end up destroying all the surrounding tissue and possibly take the life of the person, or if it does heal it’s going to take a lot longer, and it is no longer going to be a small scar, but rather a very huge one.
So what is the role of a victim’s advocate ?
In my mind a victims advocate is someone who seeks to protect or help a victim of crime or trauma. They do this by offering places where victims can feel safe, such as safe houses for battered wives and girlfriends, or housing and support to re-integrate into society such as homeless people. They offer counseling programs to help get through traumatic situations and return life to some semblance of normalcy. Whether those traumas are created by human nature or mother nature, in my mind, a victims advocate is supposed to be there to make the life of suffering individuals better, they are not there to get revenge, make money, or cause other people harm.
They are not there to be avenging angels (remember Satan was an angel), and those that take that stance are nothing more than vigilantes hiding behind the title. Two of the things that victim’s advocates should not be involved in is the legislative and judicial branches of government . They should not be involved in attempting to change criminal statutes, especially those that inflict harsher punishments. The reason for this is that they are biased in their viewpoints and are not interested in protecting constitutional standards, only in seeking revenge, in most of those cases they are not even making things better for victims. When their goal changes to how they think the punishment phase should be handled many times their actions deepen the trauma bond between the offender and the victim and actually cause the victims more suffering. If they are really trying to help victims then they should be putting their time and efforts into helping the victims heal and allowing the justice system to deal with the criminals. Their interference in legislation and the criminal justice system has made even more trauma, and more victims, such as the collateral damage done to families of both the victims and the offenders. However, they seem to be blind to this facet of their vendettas, and when anyone tries to point this out then those advocates show their true colors and make sure that those questioners are trampled into the dust.
There is of course one group of victims advocates whose motives should be immediately questioned, and that is the ones who either benefit monetarily or are financed by what is commonly referred to as the victims industry. In other words they have a financial interest in keeping people as victims for longer periods of time than needed or they are tied into businesses who benefit from the punishment phase of the judiciary system. These include treatment providers (both for victims and offenders), manufacturers of GPS bracelets and suppliers of databases for law enforcement, just to name a few. Over the past years, these groups have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress for laws that would benefit them and actually do little or nothing to improve public safety and through collateral damage, have created scores of new victims.
All God’s children have problems, we’ve heard that said time and again. Everyone from birth on suffers multiple traumas in their life. The first trauma we suffer is being born. For a victims advocate to say that one trauma is more damaging than any of the others shows how they have put on blinders and only see what they want to see. In many cases these people see themselves as victims of something and have refused to allow themselves to get past it, so they think that everyone should feel as they do about a specific type of trauma. What they have become is so fixated on their own pain that they are no longer rational, thus in the process they inflict pain upon the people that they are supposedly helping, and in the process they drag society down.
There are victims advocates for all types of problems, but this commentary will focus on one particular group that has had far-reaching effects that have damaged literally millions of family members, and at the very least 500,000 children by their interference in the legislative and judicial process. If victims advocates are actually trying to help the victims and at the same time reduce the possibility of offenders reoffending then why is it that they have attacked and tried to turn into punishments, the programs that in the past were extremely effective at #1 helping victims of child sexual abuse, #2 reunifying the family and #3 reducing re-offense rates for people within the program to less than 1% over a 12 year period. I’m speaking of course about Child Sexual Abuse treatment program (CSATP) from Santa Clara county, California. According to the (CSATP) data from 1970 to 1982, they treated over 12,000 individuals, both victims and offenders, more clients than any other single agency in its field. Jean M. Goodwin in her book “Sexual Abuse” (1990) stated that the CSATP was rated the best program in the country with a maintained re-offense rate of less than 1% total over the 12 year period. This was done without failing or removing people from the program, it was also a program that was based on a humanistic point of view, not a behavior modification program . Why isn’t such as an effective program still in operation? It’s quite simple, victims advocates and law-enforcement, primarily parole officers, felt that the perpetrators of these crimes needed to be punished, rather than in their words mollycoddled by a touchy-feely program. So they wanted the program changed to follow the behavior modification, aggressive confrontational model and the people running the program would rather see it shut down than changed into something that didn’t work. So in fact, the victims advocates were not in the least bit interested in repairing damaged families and helping victims, only in getting their pound of flesh. In many cases the victims advocates have become the true predator with little or no remorse for their victims.
I realize that many people who consider themselves victims advocates are trying to do the right thing and help victims get to a safe place and get past their trauma, but then many are hiding behind that title so that they can fulfill their own agenda, which quite simply put, is social and political terrorism that is based on revenge and not justice.
I would hope that the victims advocates that are truly trying to help victims would start to point out the ones whose only agenda is based on hatred, bigotry and financial gain and begin to distance themselves from these types of people, because too many people and families have been damaged by the overzealous laws that have been brought about by the so-called victims advocates. People are starting to get fed up. If the true victims advocates don’t do something about it then the term ‘victims advocate’ will turn into a dirty word and the effectiveness of the ones that are doing a good job will be destroyed.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” —CS Lewis.