AdSense Page Ads

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

When The System Failed

I remember standing in front of the police station, shaking and crying. In my hand was printed pages from a threatening e-mail my ex-husband sent me. It was so bad my office fear for my safety.

But the officers told me there was no red flag there, only inappropriate words. That I should move out ASAP and get a restraining order. I told them he has a gun. They replied: "Everybody has a gun."

A few months later I was back, with a printed screenshot of his message and a friend, saying he dreamt of ways to kill my boyfriend and my family.

It's enough threat for County Sheriff in AZ. Enough threat to warrant a restraining order in OC. Not enough for me in LA, despite the fact I am pretty much the target.

But the authorities are not the only one who failed me. Even before the emails or the divorce I have told his family about him, begged them to intervene.

The result? When I called his father to please stop him from threatening my family in Indonesia, I was told to go back home and protect them myself.

When I read the news about how the students have tried to report the shooter for threatening behavior, the memories came flooding back.

Sometimes authorities are swamped and unable to differentiate which is important and which is a mere petty matter, especially in a high-demand area.

Sometimes, though, all it takes is neglect and reluctance to see the danger a person pose, an insistence to not see evil in order to keep the mirage of 'peaceful life'.

My ex was a middle-class well-respected white male, which you can hardly think capable of doing harm. As he chillingly told me: "Of course they didn't find red flags. I am smart enough to do so."

"He is just all talk." "He won't do anything." "I can't see him having enough balls to hurt you." Guess what? Even with a small percent risk him hurting me when he hurt me I will 100% get hurt.

But nobody did anything. After all the threats, including revenge porn, I hoped he would actually come and attack me. A broken bone or two, or even my naked pics on the web, means nothing if he can be safe behind bars.

I was lucky. Nothing happened to me. The kids in Florida? Not so much. 

Maybe it is time we stop being so desensitized to violence. Maybe it is time we stop making excuses for violence. The poor "Troubled" or "Anguished" individuals still have the potency to hurt people. 

This doesn't mean shunning them. This means being more aware of them, more alert to possible altercation or emotion rush. This means getting them the help they need.

This means protecting people around you. For someone who got hurt or even killed, why the other person did it doesn't really mean much. It still hurts. They are still dead.

This means standing up for others. This means letting other people know that it is not cool to hurt others. This means not looking the other way because you don't want your perfect world to be tainted.

Even with all of these, a rogue crazy dude or dudette will still find a way or two to do some craziness, to hurt others. But please, please don't stop trying.

In this world full of confusion and fear, are we not our brothers' and sisters' keeper? Are we really willing to strip our humanity by refusing to act just because we can't be bothered with 'crazy people'?

The system failed me. The system failed the kids in Florida. Let's make sure it doesn't fail again. Let's make sure everyone, everywhere, can be safe.

We can do this. It takes a lot of courage and personal strength, but we can do this. We have to do this.

Rest in peace, young souls. Change is coming.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog