This book has intrigued me ever since I heard about it. I volunteer to support and advocate for victims of crime and have often wondered, along with others in my field, who supports and advocated for the families of offenders? Especially violent offenders whose actions and crimes negatively impact not only their victims but also their families. Hard question.
In her book Through the Glass, Shannon Moroney tells her story: how her storybook marriage and life fell apart one month in, the day the policeman came to her hotel room to tell her that her husband had been arrested on charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and more. Shannon writes, in a straight forward way, of her journey through pain, guilt, denial, the loss of friends and employment and the many obstacles of the Canadian criminal justice system.
It is important to remember that this is Shannon's personal journey and it may not be the same journey that every one in this situation needs to take. I was impressed with how she stayed true to what she knew she needed to do for herself, despite the objections and misunderstanding of many of those around her. I was also impressed that she could write about her experiences in a way that didn't attack her attackers but simply states the facts, how she felt and what she did in a fair and understanding way. The story is very well written.
I must say that I was sceptical from time to time about the author's decisions in the process and wondered if they would turn out for the best. It was frustrating to read about the lack of help and understanding she received as she tried to follow a path that was not well marked or travelled. As a victim advocate, I was especially dismayed at the response she received from the victim advocate she was referred to, when it was determined that she also was a victim of her husband's secret life. I want everyone to know that not all advocates are as insensitive and rude as the one she dealt with. Even still Shannon persevered. She took the time to look inside herself and recognise what she needed. Then she went on a no-holds-barred search for support and help in moving forward with whatever decision she had made.
You'll notice that I keep calling the author by her first name. As I read, I found myself connecting with Shannon and her story in a personal way - possibly because of the volunteer work I do and possibly because of my own personal experiences, or maybe just because she is so honest and open in telling her story. There were parts of the book and the conclusions she comes to with regards to improving the justice system in Canada, that I don't necessarily agree with. And many of her decisions are not ones I would have made for myself. But each of us must process our lives and deal with our personal calamities in our own ways. What I do think this book does is open a door to discussion that has long been ignored in our society: what do the offender's family go through in the aftermath of his/her criminal behaviour? I think these silent victims of crime will benefit greatly from Shannon's experiences and her continued advocacy in this area.
Character Development 5
Violence 2 – described crime scenes