Ever since the Columbine HS massacre in 1999, a debate has been raging. When a perpetrator of a spree killing or terrorist attack is killed in the attack, is he or she also a victim? Would you consider a child who kills and commits suicide to be a victim, but not an adult? On one hand, it seems cruel to mourn these people who kill in a memorial for their victims - what would victims families think? On the other hand, it doesn't make sense to demonize people who fall into violence. What do you think?
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Bravo! I am so glad you work with perpetrators from a place of compassion. I agree with you about labels. as facts about what a person experienced or did, the terms are useful (so we don't hide from the truth) but they say nothing about the person.
Thank you, Iburmaster. You add to the dialog. Not only is victimhood a matter of perhaps being taught that evil is good, it is also a matter of these victims who become perpetrators being deeply confused.
Thanks, RebThomas, for a beautiful answer. I'm beginning to see that, just as a person can be, say, "a literate person" and "a tall person," a person can also be "a perpetrator" and "a victim."
Thank you for a thoughtful answer. I'm not sure if we are up against something bigger than we are, or simply up against something bigger than we believe ourselves to be. Balancing compassion and the safety of society is indeed challenging.
If you are saying that, whatever happens to us, we have a choice to become from it, a victim, a survivor, or a perpetrator, I agree completely.