When I started writing about the Brent Brents case through this website, it was with no expectations that anyone would understand the message I was trying to get across: That we need to realize how and why predators exist if we want to prevent the pain they inflict.
I had no expectations, but I did have hope. I thought if just one person “got it,” there could be a positive ripple effect, no matter how slight, and the effort would be worth it.
Clearly, I didn’t have enough faith.
So now I’d like to give a heartfelt thank you to all those who have offered their support, and to whose who have taken the time to write and share their thoughts and stories. It’s been a gratifying process, and at times, a sobering one for the realization of how much silent suffering people carry around.
Toward that end: If you have been abused or assaulted, or are worried that someone you know will inflict harm upon yourself or others, I urge you to seek professional help. There are many organizations you can call, such as the ones listed on the right side of the home page on this website.
If you know someone who has committed a crime that has not been reported, please contact the police and get them involved.
And to those who have written to say they object to this project, I understand. And if anyone has been triggered by it because of their own personal, painful history, I hope you seek out someone to talk to–a counselor, friend, family member, church member. If reading this site distresses you, there is always the option to close your browser and walk away.
I’d also like to clarify a few points:
I believe Brents should be held responsible for his crimes and remain in prison for the rest of his life. I am not making excuses for him–he chose to inflict pain on others. What I am trying to do is figure out why.
Can he be manipulative? Yes. Do I share personal information with him? No. Do I think he now has a sincere desire for some measure of redemption? Yes. And if I’m wrong, then all I’ve wasted is my time and some compassion.
I don’t believe anyone is born evil. Have you ever looked at a baby and thought, That little person’s gonna be a criminal who will eventually rage and crush some souls?
I do think the window of opportunity to help Brents closed decades ago. Maybe if someone had intervened in his life when he was a child, he’d be on a different path. So now all that’s left are questions, and I firmly believe they are worth asking.
I wonder how he formed the decision to become a perpetrator instead of a victim, and how you influence that choice.
I wonder how much drugs and alcohol–and a family history of their abuse–contributed to his lack of impulse control.
I wonder if the blackouts he’s had since he was a child that doctors now say are small seizures caused by brain damage from being beaten by his father played a role.
Again, these are not excuses. But they are factors, and if we can recognize and prevent these factors from happening, can we start to prevent the horrors that predators leave in their wake?
The way our society deals with the issue of sexual assault is a broken, misguided process. We’ve become so punitive, we even punish the victims who dare come forward.
Anger and hate are easy, but they rarely lead to change.