I recently watched a February 2018 Royal Foundation Forum involving Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle. In the forum, as well as in other venues, a spotlight was put on mental health issues within the UK. Good for them! Their addressing this very important topic will not only help folks in the UK but will, hopefully, also shine the spotlight on mental health issues throughout the world, including the U.S. I thank them for taking this important first step.
The now Duchess of Sussex mentioned that her focus will be on empowering women. A good focus, but I ask that she consider broadening her view. Efforts should made to empower victims of crime, especially victims of sexual assault, molestation, and abuse. Here in the U.S., earlier this year we had our hearts broken as more than 150 young women and girls bared their souls and described the particularly vile and heinous conduct of Larry Nassar. Not only did they shine the spotlight on him but they also pointed a relentless light on the conduct of those who had the responsibility to stop him decades before he was finally stopped.
Now imagine if all of us stood with all the victims of crime, young, old and in-between, standing shoulder to shoulder with them as they travel the very difficult journey of not only coping with the harm but also working to reestablish their sense of self, sense of security, and recognizing that they still have value. Imagine how the young Royals with their “Heads Together” campaign can impact the world’s view of victims as they struggle with episodes of PTSD, thoughts of suicide, and attempting to live a “normal” life as spouse, parent, sibling, etc. Imagine a campaign where victims of crime are empowered with no judgments made. Imagine being that shoulder of support and encouragement for someone who so desperately needs to be heard.
What if we really and truly did attempt to do what the Most Reverend Bishop Michael Curry suggested – harness the power of love for one another, especially those within our families and neighborhoods who have lost their love for themselves as a result of being victimized by criminal acts? Imagine the world we’d have where we help victims find within themselves the strength to effectively regain their sense of self-worth.
But it’s not enough to just imagine. Now is the time to begin the hard work. Let’s do it together.