Not Like Animals

April 6, 2017, Prescott-

On the television series, Chicago PD, Intelligence Sergeant Hank Voigt loves his people- family annd fellow detectives alike.  The show frequently addresses misuse of power, both by police and by miscreants.  Among the latter group’s most common misuses of power is rape.  Last night’s episode addressed the neurotic means to power, of the rapist.  As Sergeant Voigt inferred, his people don’t act like animals.

While it was playing, on network TV, seventy five of us, at the main campus of Yavapai College, were gathered to hear the testimony of a dozen women, and one man, who had suffered sexual assault and domestic violence.  They suffered at the hands of those whom they should have been able to trust:  Their fathers, husbands, siblings’ friends, step-parents.  Some got no support from their mothers, siblings, “close friends”, even counselors.

I have, as many of you know, been a counselor, at three different schools in this state.  I have seen all manner of human brutality, and have seen the best of human kindness. Strong women and girls have come to me for assistance,I believe them-then and now, and I have had their backs.  Caring boys and men have pitched in, and helped.  Then, there are the depraved, of both genders, whom I have helped put away.  One case, in particular, stands out: A well-connected individual violated a child, was arrested, and got some of his friends and neighbours to try to impugn my character.  He was tried and convicted, his friends found themselves dispersed, by the government agency which employed them (through no action on my part, by the way), and I continued to work at the school for several more years.

The thing is, as a good friend said recently, men and women need each other.  I have many women friends, of all ages, ethnicities, physical characteristics and marital statuses.  To my mind and in my heart, they, and the men who love them most, are family.  If anything happens to them, their husbands/boyfriends, children or grandchildren, it’s as if it has happened to one of my biological family members.  This goes double for my schoolchildren, but that is a whole other ball of wax, given the protocol under which I work.

People who beat others, devalue others, torment others, have a mindset in which control is paramount.  Co-operation, in their twisted view, exists only for the purpose of accomplishing their agenda.  This is largely the province of men, though I know of several women who have followed the same path.  Little by little, case by case, their victims are stepping forward.  They are learning strength, they are learning to speak out, to walk away and to heal.

In this heart, and in many others, they are loved.

8 thoughts on “Not Like Animals

  1. Unfortunately, I believe that the victims speak out only when they have reached either a level of maturity or a level of anger that allows them to do so. Many never reach either the maturity or the anger, and those simply continue to suffer the abuse. This would suggest that earlier intervention is a mandatory part of any solution, along with education of the abusers, in the areas of respect, anger management, etc.


    • I spent a good part of my professional work in early intervention. Many abusers can be straightened out, so to speak, but it takes gargantuan, and unified, effort to counteract the enabling that goes on in communities, all too often.


  2. Excellent article Gary. This is one area, that I had touched me most. I remember when I was bullied, I didn’t have anyone. And when I told the authorities, I was the one who was blamed. Because the bullies knew how to get away.
    I watch Chacago PD too and I love the stories in that. And I love Hank Voight. His character is superb. Yes he does some things that are not normal. And I wonder how a real case like that would do in court!!


  3. I have read your stories, Angy, and have seen that, all too often, those in power enable bullies- which, in the long run, does the abusive person no favours. I doubt that Hank Voigt’s darker side would get a pass, in a real court of law. He does play to our sense of fantasy justice, in those cases.


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