There’s a lady on the other side of the radio whose husband’s crime of rape and assault against two women have left her to endure the consequences. The security and trust that was her stability came crashing down around her as she was told that her then husband confessed to two violent crimes against two women. Her name is Shannon. She is from Ontario. She was a teacher, a connected community member and a wife. She was happy, planning to have a family and in a matter of moments her life changed.
Shannon so calmly explains about how her position at school was taken away, how she became a widow, how her family was forced to reconcile perspective and how she was forces out of her community.
It’s her voice that captures my attention more than anything else. She is calm, honest and exhibits compassion as she speaks. She is honest about her story and she speaks to issues that we as a caring compassionate society should be committed to. She shares from her heart how she aches for those women. She shares how she has been a victim of the system. She challenges us to consider the systems we are living in and how we can work change them, to make them effective.
She shares about having dialogue with her then husband in jail and how that played a role in her healing. She shares about how much of a struggle it was for her to go when so many people would say that “for you to visit must mean that you still love him”. I am moved by her ability to respond by saying “of course I loved him and I went to visit was to get closure and to hold him accountability”.
She speaks to rehabilitation. She challenges us to consider those who we are releasing back into community, and asking the question if we have rebuilt trust. We need to really understand what are going on in our prisons. Shannon goes on to state that some of the people we are putting in jail, are learning to become better criminals.
As I’m listening to this interview, this story being shared, I have just been brought to tears as Shannon shares about moments of reconciliation and forgiveness. More specifically she shares about victim impact statement day in court. She shares about powerful, life changing moments happening in the cold, institutionalized wall of the court system. She expresses how these moments in court were so of the most real, healing, sacred moments. Then, at the end of the day the judge said “you go to jail” and “the rest of you go home” and how for her, that was more harmful than the 2 years of the whole court case.
I should stop writing because I don’t come close to even articulating the powerful message that Shannon is sharing about forgiveness, about hope and about needing to change the systems we live in. I know that I’ve always been different. One of those people that see life as only I can. Today, listening to Shannon share her story refocused me to hear what beats in my heart. It was for me, a reminder that our systems are merely a challenge that we have to change, an opportunity for us to see and call out of ourselves a higher commitment to care and compassion.
I’ll post the interview when it goes up but for now here is some information on Shannon: http://www.shannonmoroney.com/