Monday, April 21, 2014

A Compassionate Thief

By Phil Foley

There was a strange twist to a news article covering a burglary at an office complex.

Looking for a lead the police questioned several homeless people in the area of the burglary.  The officer provided the homeless people with background information on the services provided by the organization targeted in the theft. 

The very next morning the officer was called back to the scene and was shocked when informed that everything was returned along with a note of apology.

After the thief became aware that the items taken belonged to an organization that helps victims of sexual assault, the thief was compelled to return everything.   It turns out that the thief had compassion for victims of sexual assault. 

Part of the trauma suffered by victims of sexual assault is the stripping away of their dignity. How many times do they suffer additional cruelty at the hands of an ignorant and judgmental public pointing the finger of blame at them for what they had to endure?

Many of those who find themselves homeless understand this type of judgmental cruelty. They understand the loss of dignity for things that are out of their control.  When  the officer solicited their assistance they were able to show compassion for others and rise up to encourage the return of the stolen items. 

Victims of sexual assault can help themselves towards wholeness if they work to understand the limitations the general public has when it comes to  knowing the personal journeys they were forced to walk. The general public, the politicians, the church and society as a whole seldom show the compassion they should to those who have suffered from atrocities and calamities they cannot/will not fully understand. Victims of sexual assault can work to overcome  the pre judgment’s our society, culture and religions place on them. 

If you suffer from the devastation of sexual assault, raise your voice, if only to yourself, to identify who and what was done to you.