“Justice being served or not, being a victim carries its own life sentence.”
The title of this blog is from the subtitle of my book “Life Without Parole.” This statement speaks volumes of what a victim of any crime suffers. Regardless of what sentence there is or is not imposed, we the victims have been sentenced to serve a life sentence we will never be pardoned from.
There is no justice for victims of physical or sexual abuse. No amount of time in prison for the abuser is good enough. The problem is that the justice system seems to think otherwise. Plea bargains and advocacy groups are what get the abuser less time, thus leaving the victim to suffer that much more.
I grew up in the seventies and eighties. And if there were ever a time when abuse victims had no voice, it was then. I suffered with no help from anyone and was never taken seriously when I did attempt to talk. I spoke out as early as kindergarten and it was dismissed as a child crying out for attention. But what they failed to see in all my crying out for help was that is exactly what I was doing, but it fell on deaf ears.
Law enforcement in the 70’s and 80’s never wanted to get involved with any kind of physical or sexual abuse within a family. In my own book I wrote about the almost deliberate blind eye of everyone. When I finally snapped and fought back I thought I was the one who would go to jail.
“Back then, the victim had to want to file the charges and I knew he did not have the balls to do that. The authorities would have looked at our fight as a family thing and left it at that. I thought about telling the police about it and why it happened. But why make things worse for me? I believe I would have been the one suffering and paying the price had I spoken up then. Someone else had called the police and reported the fight. I was not the one who called them. I didn’t care one way or the other. But I wish I had known who did.
“The police, as I suspected, walked away from it because my father did not want to file charges or get the police involved. Nevertheless, I just left it alone and realized I was not going to be afraid of him or fear what he might do ever again.”
I once was asked about being physically abused on that day. My answer was one that would, today, tell a lifetime of abuse. But in that day the police had no clue and my cries fell on deaf ears.
I also speak about society and its inability to accept or deal with its own problems:
“In the sixties and seventies, it was unheard of and no one talked about it. Going into the eighties, it was coming out more, but still not taken too seriously and even when someone brought it up or a victim came out, there were some that would not believe, so it was dealt with quietly. No one wanted to make waves back then and just kept it secret. It’s sickening to think as horrible as sexual abuse is, we as a society didn’t want to deal with it.”
“Society has a horrible habit of ignoring and avoiding its problems. Collectively, society does not want to deal with the problems it creates.”
Law enforcement and its arrogance back then, helped no one. Do we, or can we still blame law enforcement and the system for this huge problem? I think we still have problem, but when the time comes to answer for mistakes made which let perverts and pedophiles lose, then we must questions why these mistakes are being made. The smallest mistakes and blunders during investigations can send a violator back onto the streets. What about the victim who then suffers even more fear of not knowing where their abuser is and when or if they will come back for more?
As I researched for my book, I found there to be disturbing information about adults who were childhood victims that tell their stories. Out of 1000 adults interviewed, only 28 percent said they were given any help from law enforcement or an investigator from a local or state agency. Of course we are going back to the mid 70’s through the late 80’s with those numbers, but it goes to show the blind eye to that which male and female children suffered.
If Jerry Sandusky had not been arrested and convicted of so many crimes against his victims, would we be seeing so much focus on sexual abuse of boys and men? Is there a lack of understanding on the part of law enforcement concerning the large number of male victims in this world?
If it were not for the internet and the media frenzy that goes on when a story hits, law enforcement would still be looking the other way and avoiding these types of crimes. Or at best, law enforcement would throw a bone to the victim.
I was never given the opportunity to see my father go to prison. One of my greatest fears of telling all when I was growing up was that I would be taken away and sent to a boys home and have to live in the system. I wish I had been brave enough to stand up and fight sooner than I did. I know for sure that had I spoken up and talked, I would not have been believed and it would have been me everyone would have been focusing on. I’m sure he would have been able to manipulate the system in some way or another. Sociopaths are extraordinary manipulators. The system is a playground for these types of people.
As I have walked down the road of sharing my story with the world, I have been fortunate enough to be able to meet people who have lived in the same world I had. It wasn’t until now that I realized the vast ocean of victims who want to scream out, yet no one is hearing them.
Whether it is local or state law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, or the federal government, everyone needs to stop assuming who is or can be a victim. Men suffer as a victim as much as a woman and age has no limit when it comes to being a victim of sexual and physical abuse.
The system fails miserably when it comes to victims and what is best for them. Prison time for abusers should never be negotiated. The range of prison time in the sentencing of abusers leaves a huge gap between what is necessary and what is ridiculous. Our expectations as a society should be that abusers get a mandatory amount of time regardless of stature. The guidelines can call for 2-20 years in some cases leaving it wide open for almost no prison time. And we wonder why we lock our doors and carry guns. But of course, that’s about to be taken away soon too.
My view on what the system does or does not do is first hand. I have experienced it from both sides as a victim as well as a criminal. I fear for our future if we do not start properly punishing those who do not care about the law. I for one did learn. Not because I saw the error of my ways, but because I didn’t want to go back behind bars. It was not until many years later that I began to see why I was doing what I did and how to change my way of thinking.
Society needs to stop putting Band-Aids on problems and start dissecting and fixing them. A good cliché’ explains it well: “treat the disease, not the symptom.”
A dedicated, self motivated, optimistic, eccentric writer and person does not describe who John Moore is. He is lazy, lacks motivation, procrastinates, puts off what he can do tomorrow, hardly finishes anything and is sometimes pretty egotistical. Other than that, he is a pretty good guy.
Born February 3, 1964, John Moore grew up in a middle to low income family. No riches, no expensive toys, luxuries or private schools. His parents came from families which seemed quite disconnected, which would explain why life went the way it did for him. But for him, life was simply about surviving.
His education is fairly simplistic. A high school education, college, and life itself taught him what he needed to know. His writing experience goes as far back as 1981 when he first wrote a story for a local paper. From there it has been magazines, newspapers and now on the internet. Broadcasting has been a strong influence on him. He has received many awards for his work on traditional radio as well as internet radio.
Being published for his autobiography came solely by accident. While in therapy John Moore was asked to write down his thoughts and try to remember life as a child. From those simple thoughts and scribbles on paper, came Life Without Parole.
Connect with John in the following places:
Life Without Parole is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format:
Come back on Friday, February 8th to read RJ McDonnell’s adventures of his time spent counseling inmates.
You can see the full month’s schedule here: Criminal Justice Blog Series
Thanks for reading.
Tags: Abuse Victims, Child Abuse Victims, Crime and Punishment, Criminal Justice, John D. Moore, Life Without Parole, Male Abuse Victims, Memoirs by Abuse Victims, Physical and Sexual Abuse, Stories by Abuse Victims, Thoughts on Criminal Justice