Victims & Offenders

Uploaded by UnivDelaware on 27.06.2011

Susan Miller, University of Delaware professor: This story always comes to mind because both the victim and offender have done such incredibly hard work.
This was a stranger rape
The victim was in her late 50s at the time.
and the offender had just gotten out of a juvenile facility, and he was 17
Here's a woman who had always opened her door to strangers,
had taken in foster children,
was an an avid gardener, was always outside on her front porch yelling hi to her neighbors and things like that.
She never opened her shades again or her curtains. She kept them for 10 years closed.
She never did Halloween candy for trick or treaters. She never worked in her garden again.
And, she blamed herself.
She found out he didn't know here from anyone.
He wasn't stalking her.
The day she found that out she sent an email to Kim and said
for the first time in ten years my curtains are open and I'm gonna plant a garden.
And, he was, still is, so remorseful
and so, doesn't know what to do to make things better. He wrote to everyone in her family:
her husband, her granddaughter, her son.
to say he was sorry.
He wrote a letter for her to read at the juvenile detention facility, for her to read to those boys.
Ninety seven percent approximately of all offenders, no matter how serious their crime is, they are going to be released from prison.
And so, are we going to release them without any intervention?
People are realizing that we need to do something.
I always like to think about this as a journey of hope
because you see from what the offenders say and what the victims say
is how much their lives have been transformed by this program.