“Well, I was there and I saw what you did.
I saw it with my own two eyes.
So you can wipe off the grin. I know where you’ve been.
It’s all been a pack of lies…
Well, I remember. I remember, don’t worry.
How could I ever forget?…
The hurt doesn’t show; but the pain still grows.
It’s no stranger to you or me.”
– In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
Justice demands that predators – those who harm children for their own pleasure – be punished for their crimes, and prevented from harming additional victims. But the justice system necessarily has limitations.
Proof can be difficult to come by. A child may not survive the abuse or may not be able to speak of a violation for years. Parents may choose that their child not undergo the rigors of a trial. Predators may be institutionally shielded (as by the Roman Catholic Church), may relocate, assume a new identity, or even pass away, in the intervening years. Supportive evidence can be lost.
This does NOT warrant vigilantism. Whatever the temptation, we cannot ally with evil. The end does not justify the means.
What then is the fate of pedophiles? Recidivism is a grave concern. There are predators whose conscience is seared to such an extent that it no longer functions. One study, however, found that suicide among non-violent child sex offenders is 183 times more common than in the general public . There are, of course, victims who commit suicide, as well.
In the end, our fate is not dependent on the fate of the predator. That bears repeating. Justice matters. But our fate is not dependent on the fate of the predator.
Whatever the outcome in a particular case, we can trust that there will be perfect justice in the next world, if not in this. “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice…” (Deut. 32: 4).
 National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, “Differential suicide rates in typologies of child sex offenders in a 6-year consecutive cohort of male suicides” by C. Pritchard and E. King, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16040578.
Originally posted 3/2/14
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16 responses to “Fate of the Predator”
A sad truth too many get off, but knowing many commit suicide is a cowards choice as once in prison the rigors of punishment dealt out by the inmates will be worse than death.
The temptation is to applaud such rough justice. But victims must not sink to the level of those who preyed upon them.
A staggering stat that 183 times. I wonder what it would be for victims who can finally achieve the calm reflection needed to write this post that looks beyond.
Tragically — because abuse is still under-reported and suicides by victims may take place decades later — reliable statistics on the number of victims who end their lives in pain are difficult to come by.
Isn’t “non-violent sex offender” an oxymoron, Anna?
An excellent point, Bill.
Just desserts, perhaps. Deep down inside of the injured where there may be room for some self-satisfaction, they might feel justice has been served. But I sincerely doubt it will ever take away the permanent scars. Thank you, Anna. Another page from the atrocities of human suffering brought to light. You are a bright beacon. Peace and light.
You are a dear friend, Lance. Stay safe and well. ❤
Always a sincere pleasure, Anna. Thanks so very much. You as well.
Parents do not believe their children.
Predator goes on to feed elsewhere. A rancid chain it is.
Yes it is
A dulled or blunted conscience can turn a man into a monster.
Well said, Christopher.
I have lived through much of what you speak of, including a mother not wanting to believe me so she could keep the step dad around for money. Your writing is beautifully written Anna. More people need to speak out so these pedaphiles say in prison for life without possibility of parole.
Thank you so much for your support. It is tragic when victims are not believed, even more so when they are not rescued. Many people have difficulty accepting that evil exists. We who have experienced it firsthand know better.