Action In The Wake Of Tragedy

Twenty six years ago my sister, her husband and their unborn child were shot and killed. In the wake of that agony that never ends, this week has been incredibly hard. Really, really hard. Harder than I can put into words. Trauma reemergence, inability to think about anything else…I have so many victim friends and we have all been hanging onto each other for dear life. And as if we were all of one mind, we all felt strongly, angrily, and deeply that we could no longer bear to hear not only the news reports but also the now too familiar platitudes of thoughts, prayers, and condolences. No more. The condolences themselves became infuriatingly provocative.

Actions only to help victims and prevent victims were thinkable as so many of us talked to each other this week. I took real comfort in our life-changing work for Marsy’s Law. We are DOING something! I received many inquiries as folks saw me as a resource for information about how to help victims. I was so proud to be able to share concrete ideas, amidst our mutual tears. I hope that all of us who work in support of Marsy’s Law, but that have not experienced the pain of victimization first-hand, can KNOW this horrible week and for all the weeks ahead that we can be proud that we aren’t just saying something- we are doing something. 


Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins

State Director, Marsy’s Law For Illinois