Monday, November 13, 2006

Sweet Revenge, how sweet?

THANKS A BUNCH TO EVERYONE THAT COMMENTED ON THIS ARTICLE. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, Y'ALL HAVE HELPED IN CHANGING MY VIEWS ON THIS. I'VE HAD THIS ISSUE BUGGING ME FOR ABOUT 2-3 yrs. LESSON LEARNED: ALL OFFENDERS, WHETHER THEY'RE REPENTANT OR NOT, MUST STILL PAY FOR THE CRIME COMMITTED and THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REVENGE/ VENGEANCE AND JUSTICE, THAT'S WHY WE'VE THE LAW.
Was going to blog on my weekend, but will do sometime during the week. How was everyone's weekend?

This has been a topic/ issue that has been on my mind for the longest time. I know it may be considered as controversial for so many reasons, but here's my take on revenge/ vengeance. I recently watched something on one of the news channels, about a lady who was raped about 10 years ago or thereabout. It so happened, that the rapist, turned a new leaf, and wanted to make peace with the lady. Somehow, he got her address, and wrote her. The lady (now happily married with kids), met up with the rapist. To cut the long story short, she decided to press charges against him for what he did to her so many years ago. According to her, she said he took a part of her away and that her life has not been the same since then. She narrated the anguish and pain she and her husband had to go through. In as much as i sympathize with her, in my humble opinion, i really don't think pressing charges against him was the way to go. Then again, who am i to talk? I've never been raped before, i didn't have to go thru what she endured. It's only one who wears the shoe, that can truly tell where it pinches.

I heard about another case, heck there are many such cases out there. Someone's kid/ family was murdered, the murderer confessed to the victim's family, and they had him thrown in jail. Here's where i beg to differ, pressing charges and having the offender thrown in jail, won't bring the dead back to life, neither would it help in reducing the trauma u had to endure as a rape victim. So, why bother? First off, for the offender to contact u and confess, that's a bold step. Yes, i know they need to be held responsible for their actions. Yes, i know they may not be truly repentant and may do just about the same thing to another unsuspecting fellow. Then again, if u look at it from this perspective, what if the offender didn't come to confess, you'd still live ur life.

I don't know if i'm missing something here, but that's how i see it. Is there a sense of fulfillment u (as a victim) gets, knowing that the offender is behind bars even after so many years of perpetuating the act? Better still, does it satisfy u or make u happy to know that it was Mr/ Miss X that actually caused u so much pain and misery and now it's pay back time. I'd rather think that u wouldn't even want to know/ see the person that caused u pain. To justify revenge, some people even add that, "I'm not doing this for me, but for those out there, i don't want someone else to have to go through what i went through." It's hard to forget, YES, but does revenge help u forget either? Absolutely NOT!

I'm not being spiritual/ religious here (however u may choose to call it), even though i have tons of bible verses to give on vengeance/ revenge. I would really like to here ur views on this, especially if u've been a victim or the perpetrator. Like i said earlier, i've neither been a victim nor perpetrator, these are just the views through my brown tinted glasses.

27 comments:

Omodudu said...

Its only human to think in terms of relative happiness. You are happy with your two pieces of toast until you discover your mum gave three pieces of toast to your younger sister. Suddenly you are the saddest person alive. We are programmed to think that way. There is a sense of joy (how ironic) to see others pay for the anguish they have caused us. That is where the spirit of God comes in, only with the spirit, can you truly see that your happiness or joy, comes not from the east or the west but from above. I also know that forgiving someone that has played you out removes the power such persons had over you, and makes you stronger. But as a human being sha thats very hard to do. Once again its easy to preach hehe. Thats my two kobo.

Belle said...
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Dipo Tepede said...

Wow, first things first like you said you are not in their shoes, so it says it all...

What we term logical seems not be logical when we face things we have never faced before. Sometime we never really know what we would do in a given situation we have never been.

I can say in front of the whole world, " I would never beat a woman just like my neighbour x is doing to his wife, just to be in the same situation 5 years down the line and I see myself beating a woman"

The summary of the whole gist is that we aim to do something but there are laws within our system that is acting contrary to what we believe that is why we need the grace of God.

This people that took their revenge may not even have the spirit of God within them, how can they start to even understanding or remembering what the scripture says.

Our prayer should be "God let our enemies be far from us and do not lead us into temptation."

If it happens, we need the grace of God to overcome the ingrained pains......

teva said...

Bijoux, the truth of it all is that you really cant know until you walk a mile in their shoes.
First, some people cant ever really get themselves back together and knowing that there's a little justice or pain, on that offenders' part will help them bear the grief better.
Others, only start feeling the whole religious/forgiveness angle when the guy has paid enough and they realise that punishing him wont cure them, so there's always something you dont see....So what i would say is that observers should pray for the victim or their families so that the healing is complete in them, once it is, they wont find it so hard to forgive

Funmi said...

It takes alot of character to own up to a horrible crime but in my opinion owning up doesn't mean you won't still face the consequences of the wrong commited. I am going to be religious :) and remind u that even the bible says a sinner will not go unpunished.

As a victim of abuse, i would definately love to see the SOB behind bars unfortunately that will never be since he is now a pastor! (God has a sense of humor for real). There is this fulfillment that a victim gets knowing the SOB who caused such grief is now paying back.

LondonBuki said...

I thank God I haven't been a victim...

I have often wondered what satisfaction victims or their families get when they see the perpetrator locked up or given a death sentence. The victim is still dead or still living with the effects.

From what I can see, it gives the victims and/or their families some peace of mind that the person is not living a normal life after committing such a crime .

Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...

@Belle: I need to clarify what i really meant by that statement. The fact is that for the most part, u're all about me, myself and i, but just 'cos u want 'em to pay for what they did, u start being selfless and it's now all about the other person. I reall do appreciate ur being candidi. Like i said earlier, i've neither been a victim nor an offender, but that's how i see it thru my brown tinted glasses. I'm truly sorry if it sounds insensitive, i'm open to hearing other views, maybe that'd give help in shaping my views on this.

Anonymous said...

I am a victim of rape - and I would have loved my perpertrator to be punished - not because of what he did but he needs to be brought to accountability - Crime does not pay - Even if you confess - you should still know the drill.

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

Dear Bijoux - rape vistims or should I say people who have been victims have to deal with this everyday of their lives. The decisions they make and how they live their lives from that point of violation or murder does and will affect their lives. Yes our Lord says that Vengance is His - people probably go about the way of revenge as a healing process. Yes they might try to delude themselves into thinking they are doing it for others, but the honest truth is that they are doing it for themselves. Everyone have to have accountabilty for their actions even on this earth and in heaven. And yes when we confess our sins, Our God in heaven forgives us, But we are not dealing with God, but with mere human being. Even some christians find is so hard to forgive much more an unbeliver.

The Law is there to deter people from repeating or reproducing the act. If some one with a mind that can easily be influenced were to be watching that program and find that all you need to is confess and your actions will not be brought to accountabilty by the Law, then we will have people going out and carrying this crime with the hope that they might just get away with it if they need only confess.

So even though your writ is from a christian perspective we must also understand why the law is there in the first place. You break it you pay for it. Our God is merciful thats why the law does not apply to us when it comes to our sins. We need only seek Him earnestly and ask for His forgiveness and you know what He forgives us. We have to remember to call a spade what it is. Yes he has confessed his sin and is free from it. If the Lord touches the Lady's heart not to press charges, then thats fine, but it must not be seen as if crime does pay.

Biodun said...

Whether it seems that they r being self righteous or not, a criminal should pay for his/her crimes regardless, it wont bring the dead back n sure wont take away the memory of abuse or rape but it sure will prevent future happenings, cos the truth is this, a lot of these people end up doing the same thing to other people, that is why the law is in place in the first instance! Anyone can be remorseful but really u never know, so why take that risk n endanger others!

DiAmOnD hawk said...

i concur w/funmi... you have to be punished...even with forgiveness...there's reparations that must be made

Olawunmi said...

i think everyone else has made the point i would have wanted to make. if someone wrongs you, its human to want to see justice done. and its the right thing that the person should pay a price for what they did. the fact that they confessed their crime is nothing, other than a mitigating factor to be considered in sentencing.

i have learned that the accused's motive for confessing is often a selfish one, seeking absolution from their guilt through the forgiveness of the victim or their family. if they truly felt remorse, they would turn themselves in, and let the law take its course. no, i don't support your point of view at all. i don't see why a rapist should get away with it just because he apologised, nor a murderer. its just not enough to say "sorry".

mosaic said...
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mosaic said...

Hmmm...Some things you can "forgive" without seeking revenge/restitution and others you can't.

Something as severe as rape and/or murder!?.....that definitely deserves to be punished by the law. I think it's about the other person paying for their crime and also preventing it from happening again. Even if a prison sentence or whatever would not change the action, would you really want this person to be out on the streets? If so, you could even be the victim again. You do the crime, you should pay the time or you'll pay in due time.

mosaic said...
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Daddy's Girl said...

I think justice differs from revenge. Revenge is about 'an eye for an eye', justice acknowledges that although there is no way to replace the lost eye, the person who removed it should face some kind of consequence, whether he is repentant or not. Sowing and reaping is a universal law, and man has created systems of justice to implement it.
Anyone who is repentant enough to own up to committing a crime should also be brave enough to face the consequences. To me, that is part of the process of making amends.
The desire to seek vengeance, it is true, can be very destructive and should not be encouraged. But
I believe that if you do wrong, you should be made to face consequences if you are caught (even if you confess). I may forgive you, but I will not necessarily be against your being justly punished for doing wrong. The fact that my parents would beat me as a child for doing wrong does not mean they had not forgiven my wrong or were trying to get revenge.
It is also a fact that most people out there who have once abused/raped/wronged some other person in some way, will do it again if not restrained. Most of them do not genuinely repent (again, even if they do, they shouldn't necessarily be absolved from punishment). So putting them behind bars can be a way of protecting the society as well.

ABBEY said...

I tend to feel that way too, that throwing the person in jail or executing the person won't restore a dead victim or heal the wounds of abuse. But if you think of how many women go around as women's rights activist etc after being abused, then you might begin to see that they don't do it for their good alone. What does the woman have to gain from talking to other women about how to protect themselves from abusers and abusive relationships? So I do think one becomes a bit selfless when these things happen to them. It's not only to seek revenge.

Even the little things I've been through in my life, I put my stories out there so that other people coming behind won't make thesame mistakes I made, etc talk more of someone that goes through something as life changing as rape.

So yeah, they aren't trying to be mother theresa and like Dipo said, when the doodoo actually hits the fan, all logic is blown out the window.

babe said...

i no go lie men...I would have them put in jail simply because I believe that people need to suffer the consequences of their actions. Loved the blog.

Anonymous said...
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Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...

@ ALL: Thanks guys, believe it or not, ur various views on this issue have helped in modifying my initial take on it.

@Anon 2: I don't know how long it'd take, maybe it's not even possible to be completely healed of such. I agree i've no clue how the victims feel, but rather than just watch, i'd like to know what people think on this, esp. the victims. I apologise, if i'm coming across as an ITK, far from it, those are the views i had before, and reading from the numerous comments, i did get a whole lot from 'em.

Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...

@ BELLE & ANON 2: Had to take off the offensive part, 'cos after reading it thru again, it sounds kinda insensitive, esp. since i've not been thru the pain. Sorry folks, i'm deleting and reposting ur original comments.

belle said...

hmmm Bijou. I had to take a few mins off before responding! inhale...exhale.. inhale!!

I believe that for most peope it might start off as revenge, but with healing it becomes more about punishment.

Ok.. so lets take someone who barrels past a red light and gets busted by a cop. I dont care if you cry and apologize and show remorse, guess what, chances are you will still get a ticket. What more someone who rapes or kills???!!!!!! Think about the law of sowing and reaping... where regardless of you asking God for forgiveness, there is still a consequence for that action. The same principle applies here.

I'm all for punishment.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so how long will it take you to completely heal if you got raped?
Funny how in our effort to come across as ITKs, we still end up coming across as assuming and judgemental.

When you have no clue how deeply or sadly a victim feels, why not just watch rather than hurt them even more with such comments as above all in the name of having an opinion? It's ok to not have an opinion especially on sensitive issues like rape, abortion, murder etc. I pray that you won't have to know pain to understand other people's pains. Yes I agree, repentant or not, the guy should be convicted!

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

Babe.. its hard to explain pain, anguish, terror, hurt until you've experienced it... For someone who was raped, sorry doesn't even begin dissolve the tears, the sleepless nights... your changed outlook on life... Sorry doesn't begin to cover the fact that you'll find it hard to trust, to ever be whole again... True forgiveness and absolution comes after so much introspection, self- healing and mostly God. I can understand both sides of the coin(forgive because they're sorry) or not(let them be punished for their crimes)... I won't say anything about any of them.. we never truly know what our hearts are capable of until we've been in these situations ourselves... One thing i will say is... Sorry isn't enough... 'I don't know what made me do it' is just trite...

good of u to raise the topic though... its food for thought for a lot of people

Vera Ezimora said...

I honestly dunno. But I've got two great Bible verses. Eph 4:25-5:1 This verse talks about forgiveness and our (humans) desire to get even.

Romans 13:1-7 says that even though God is the suprese authority, we still have to obey the law in our community because the authority has been appointed by God.

Does this help?

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

@ all - desperately seeking website developer to try and find temmy's deleted blog - is that possible - can that be done - she is now on this address - http://temmytayo2.blogspot.com/

4wardnfiaca said...

just like everyone said, u just neva know the pain these victims go thru until u've walked in their shoes (hopefully we'll neva 1/2 2).
Since I don't know, I wan't to say I am a firm believer in second chances which will propel me to say that once the perpetrator comes forward and confesses they should be given a the chance to actually turn a new leaf.
I s'pose that in some cases tho the victims feel the need to punish the offender in order to be able to move on with their lives. but do they eva truly move on?
Na tru be say the law dey to punish and possibly prevent crimes like that from being comitted again, but in the grand scheme of things, aren't we s'posed to leave that to God?

Hmm...I am now more confused on the subject than I was before I read ur post...Thank you very much