By Dr. Kathie Mathis
Every victim of a personal crime has to face the reality of this: the deliberate and planned violations by their intimate partner on their personhood, down to the foundation of who they are as an individual. They are assaulted emotionally, spiritually, verbally, and sometimes physically. They are shaken to the very core foundation of everything they thought and knew about themselves. The result is soul trauma. This is a PROCESS and not an event.
The psychological trauma they face can impair their ability to bring charges against a perpetrator and to see the perpetrator for who he/she really is. Everything they experience and face appears to be stressful. Add to that stress the fear of retaliation and “silence” along with inability to make good choices is the result.
Society also becomes a partner with the perpetrator through “dissociating” the victim. This is where they “dissociate” the victim from the human race by seeing the victim as “irritant symbols” who “had it coming” because of not leaving the relationship, keeping secrets, or by blaming – “what did you do to make that happen.” Society also “objectifies” the victim by similar to the perpetrator so they don’t have to do anything about the problem that they find hard to deal with. Then add society’s minimization of the incident by statements of “if it was really bad she/he would have left.” Animal rights is still more important in this country than are the rights of women and children. We have more animal shelters and money for animal shelters than we have for shelters for women and children. When it comes to shelters for men, there are even less available for male victims. Animals take a precedent over people in the United States.
Victims are selected because they crossed paths with the perpetrator and had a symbolic significance or purpose for the perpetrator. Perpetrators thrive in neighborhoods, churches, court rooms, hospitals, political offices, law enforcement all across our country and in every country worldwide. Their “hunting grounds” are limited only by their own choices.