For evil to thrive, good men and women need to be silent.

Dear Engaged Bystander: The Mayor of Trenton New Jersey quoted Edmund Burke in his appeal to the community to come forward and help understand what happened in the gang rape of a 7 year old child. He said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing."

 
Five Young men and boys from the ages of 13 to 20 were arrested in the New Jersy rape case.  Trenton authorities said that the cooperation of community members was key to making the arrests. "People came forward to get justice for this innocent 7-year-old angel who was brutally gang-raped...
 
He goes on to call the men and boys “pedophile animals”. 
 

 

This is a truly horrible story. And I so very appreciate the resources that the City of Trenton has devoted to this case. But to change these dynamics, I do believe that we should put the remarkable responses of the community at the top of the story.  
 
And I know that this might be controversial, but we need to stop “monsterizing” our kids. The Mayor is calling a 13 year old or a 14 year old “pedophile animals.” These kids need to be held accountable for their crimes. Absolutely. But they also need a better community response to let them know the impact of what they did, allow them how to make reparations to the community for the trauma they caused, and we need to teach them how to live healthy and safe lives in the future.
 
I hope the next story I read is someone stepping forward before a girl of 7 is raped. But for now, I am glad that people in the community did what was needed and spoke about the horror in their own community. I don’t know many people with that kind of courage.
 
Warmly
joan