The heart of violence
Cancel culture, prisons, and all forms of punitive ‘justice’ that dehumanize perpetrators fundamentally abandon survivors and leave us alone with the question: Why?
The question repeated like a prayer, cried out as a heart-wrenching sob caught in the throat, circled around endlessly is: Why? Another variation of this question is: How could you?
We love to repeat the fact that most sexual assaults happen in the context of relationship, but we refuse to grapple with what that means. Politically, collectively, in our understanding of what this violence is and how it works, we turn perpetrators into monsters that can easily be disposed of. We can erase the problem all together by dehumanizing the perpetrators and getting rid of them (somehow).
This is not true for a great number of survivors because our perpetrators aren’t monsters, aren’t strangers, aren’t two dimensional caricatures of evil. These are people we love. People we loved.
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