Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Last Letter to the Parole Board

Dear Members of the Parole Board,

I suppose you want to know how I’m doing. Honestly, I could not ask for a better life. I have a strong and happy marriage. My husband and I are raising our two girls and three boys in the home and town that we love. We love spending time with our children as well as our extended families and friends. Our lives and our hearts are full.

It is true I had some difficulties in the years after the rape. Not only did I have many new fears to conquer, I also struggled with having those fears since I had always prided myself on being a strong and independent woman. My fears were debilitating at times but over the years they have faded away one by one.

I continue to share my story via written and spoken word. The feedback from my audiences encourages me to continue.  Many of them tell me that they are also survivors and that they draw strength from my words. This is incredibly fulfilling to me.

Members of the Parole Board, you can see that any concerns you might have had about my life can be put to rest.

However, I have some concerns about someone else’s life: that of the rapist. I have forgiven him. I have compassion for him since I don’t believe that adults that commit violent crimes are usually the products of healthy childhoods rife with opportunity. While it’s true I don’t know the facts of his childhood in particular, I do know these things about him:

1)   He was arrested once before for a sexual assault
2)   Against a 12 year old girl
3)   He committed a violent crime against me
4)   He was armed at the time of his arrest
5) He was not sent to the prison for sexual offenders where he’d conceivably receive specialized treatment
6)   Last time I was able to get information on his time spent in prison I learned he was not participating in any therapy, support groups or educational programs

I have always been worried about what his life will be like after prison. I have no reason to believe he has been able to overcome whatever it was that led him to crime. I have no proof that he is equipped to assimilate back to life on the outside without resorting to it again.

Which leads me to one other person’s life I am concerned about: that of his potential future victim(s).  My biggest fear is that he commits another sexual assault upon his release. Another woman might not be able to cope the way that I have. Another child victim could be permanently and negatively affected by it.

Members of the Parole Board, neither you nor I can do anything to ensure that he does not commit another crime. None of us can do anything to guarantee that he does not ever hurt another person again. And since I have no reason to believe he will not rape again, I ask you to at least prolong it happening by keeping him in jail at this time. 

Thank you.

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