For Families of Offenders
Hidden Victims of Homicide
As parents we feel emotions of happiness, being proud, and overwhelming joy when our kids do something wonderful such as get a good grade in school, go off to college, get married or a job promotion, pretty much anything that improves their quality of life.
So it makes perfect sense that when our kids do something bad as parents we feel guilt, shame and blame. its normal! Call it personal accountability because in our hearts and minds our children will be our responsibility for eternity no matter their age.
However, in society and in the eyes of the law once our children turn 21 they are deemed as an adult and our supervision becomes less over their lives.
When someone you love is accused/guilty of murder you as a direct link to the perpetrator be it family member, spouse or best friend your life as you know it will be changed forever. By the victim’s family, neighbors, media and society as a whole, you are labeled guilty by association.
It doesn't matter if your loved one is 12 years old or 35 years old the guilt, blame and shame becomes part of your reality.
When someone you know and love does something so horrible you can barely comprehend after the initial shock of hearing the news your mind starts swirling with disbelief that your family member could do such a horrific act.
As defined in the dictionary, "Disenfranchised grief" is a particularly difficult form of loss to overcome because the majority of cases involving this form of grief are the consequences of personal decisions of behaviors made. Such loss often creates a sense of shame or guilt within the individual or that person’s family, making it difficult to openly mourn, discuss, or cope with the actions that have created the loss.
Most members reminisce about the individual’s childhood to try to determine what went wrong. How could someone "I" love take another human beings life? Families of condemn killers are what some refer to as hidden victims of crime.
Often time’s people acknowledged grief for the victim's family but it is rarely a conversation piece for the offender's family. In no way are we comparing the grief of losing a loved one to violence to a family who lost their child to incarceration because of violence. Our goal is to help find all innocent parties the coping skills needed to move forward and lead healthy lives.
No one can prepare a family for the day police officers knock on your door to inform you that your family member committed murder and that they've been issued a search warrant to search your home. For hardworking parents who work everyday, pay taxes, maintain their home to provide for their family and are law abiding citizens this whole experience may feel offensive and intrusive.
The grief of the offender’s family is ignored. They often engage in self-recrimination for their indirect role in the whole matter. They frequently wonder what they could have done differently to prevent the senseless act of murder. Due to the severity family members experience feelings of isolation, embarrassment, frustration and hopelessness. Often times a person feels shun by life as it use to be. From home to work you’re constantly seeing eyes upon you and are aware of the whispers behind your back.
You learn that resources to help you through your grief or trauma are limited but please know you are not alone.
Many families with a loved one in prison or jail experience economic hardship, especially if the incarcerated person was a primary wage-earner of the household. You have to grieve the loss of that person in your day-to-day life, as well as deal with any extra struggles that his or her loss brings. In addition, you have to learn to navigate the maze of visiting the person in jail. As if this weren’t enough, families with an incarcerated loved one experience social stigmas in their community because their loved one is in jail. Though it’s tough, you can learn to create a new life for yourself while your loved one is gone.
If you are a hidden victim of crime and are looking for an outlet where you can express your feelings without judgement please join our hidden victim’s journal by clicking on the link below.
|Families of Offenders report:|
|Fantasies and nightmares of how the murder happened|
|Anger toward the victim for being in the wrong place at the wrong time|
|Depression and feeling of helplessness and powerlessness|
|Hatred toward God||Shock and denial|
|Loneliness and isolation||PTSD|
|Not able to work||Unfamiliarity with court process|
|Rejection and ridicule||Distorted grief|
|Drug addiction to ease the pain||Thoughts of suicide|