Posts Tagged ‘Psychologists’

The Victim of Crime

Posted: January 13, 2013 by Ed Griffin in Prison, Reform
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Everyday about the same time, he ran past my house. Thin, perhaps in his late thirties, early forties, my hilly neighborhood did not seem to affect him. Whether he was going up the hill outside my house or down it, he wore the same determined face.

My curiosity forced me to stop him one day. I really didn’t stop him – he ran in place.

“I admire what you’re doing. How far do you run?’

“5 K in the morning, 5 K at night.”

“Wow!” was all I could think to say.

“My name’s Ed,” I said. “What’s yours?”

“John. I just live around the corner.”

“I think that’s great, John.”

“See. I’m a music teacher and this is how I handle the stress in my life – by running. And I better get going. Nice to meet you, Ed.”

That was last summer. I hadn’t seen him in six months until one day this month my wife and I were walking up our hilly street – slowly, of course. We saw John coming down the hill – walking. It was the first time I ever saw him walking.

As he drew near, I saw that he didn’t look well. “Hey, John, how’s it going? You remember me, Ed, and this is my wife, Kathy. You’re not running?”

Without preliminaries, he jumped into the story. “I put a couple of good musical instruments up for sale on Craig’s list and two guys came to look at them. One guy picked up both and started to leave. When I grabbed for him, the other guy hit me on the head with a heavy stick of some kind and I fell into the corner of my piano. When I woke up, they were gone, along with the musical instruments and my laptop. It took me days to come out of the fog. When I run now I get dizzy. I just can’t do it.”

Tears came to his eyes. “I want to run. I start, but I have to stop. The doc says give it time. But it’s been five months now.”

It seemed to Kathy and I that more than running had left his life, namely his stability and his way to handle stress.

“Have the cops found the guys?” I asked

John looked at me like I didn’t know anything. “Of course not.”

“Did your doctor suggest a counselor?” I ventured.

“Yes, but it’s not covered in my plan.”

John said goodbye and walked slowly away, head down.

The victim of crime. Oh, sure, we can stand on our righteous platform and say, “He should have done this or that,” but what real help has our society given John? Did the government pay for frequent counseling? Psychologists, physiotherapists, whatever was required and as often as needed. If his injury limited his ability to teach some students, was he compensated for that?

John didn’t seem to have that snarling attitude about “finding those dirty criminals and hanging them.” But if he did, would a counselor have been there to help him through those feelings?

And what about the community, in this case, our neighborhood. It’s upsetting to all of us that a couple of guys can steal from a neighbor and get away with it.

In my opinion, we haven’t even begun to help the victim of crime. What is your opinion?