A year or so ago, I was contacted by the Oprah Winfrey Network to see if I would be interested in doing a piece on Restorative Justice – a way to connect the victim and their offender to repair the harm caused by the criminal act.
The way I saw it, justice could only be restored if Stefanie was returned to me unharmed. I politely turned down the offer.
A few days ago in the Globe and Mail there was an article in the Focus section titled Broken Vows.
The article was written by Shannon Moroney who married a convicted murdered and convinced herself, her friends and family that he was a changed man. He was embraced in love and acceptance with a fantastic chance for a new life.
She was shocked when he re-offended and left her to pick up the pieces of her life. She writes about how difficult it was to over come the stigma of guilt-by-association and how human beings should accept that we’re not so different from each other. We could be her next time.
She tries too forcefully to express how she was caught unawares and that the only way for her to heal was through repeated visits with her ex-husband. His willingness to take responsibility released her from her anger and resentment, thus opening the door for forgiveness and a positive future.
I struggle with this for a myriad of reasons but primarily because she was not the principal victim. Yes, her trust was betrayed, but she wasn’t kidnapped, raped or murdered – and had fair warning.
I think she wrote this memoir to convince herself and the world she was just as innocent a victim as the girls he raped, and to absolve herself of any responsibility. She is an advocate of restorative justice and blames the Canadian justice system for not treating and rehabilitating him the first time.
Blame him – of course – blame the system and write a memoir about how innocent a victim you were too and therefore have the right to speak for the other victims?
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” –Shakespeare