With the horrific and shocking allegations arising against Team Lloyd Irvin and some of his instructors, there has been a strong urge for other victims to come forward and report any wrong-doings that might have occurred to them. I am sure many of us can only speculate as to what would hinder the victims from stepping up and offering their accounts. Not to speak for the victims, but I have often read that many victims do not come forward out of embarrassment and possible backlash or slander thrown at them for possible false allegations. Every assault in any fashion, any rape or sex crime is absolutely appalling, and is difficult for any victim to come forward. However I think what makes it even more difficult to speak up, is when the crime is committed at the hands of someone that you idolized, someone that you truly trusted for your well being.
Growing up, we learn that there are people out there that will change our lives and help to groom us to become better in any aspect of life. We have our parents, family members, older peers, teachers, and coaches. We believe that they are incorruptible, and are here solely to assist us, protect us, and guide us. We believe that we should never have any reason to not trust them or feel that they would harm us in anyway. Unfortunately, to put it generically, there are a few terrible apples that spoil the lot, and harm many to a degree that is repulsive. To state this now, I do not believe that there are a large number of persons in an authority position that prey on those under their wing, but the few that are out there leave a devastating mark on their victims.
Fortunately, and I thank the Big Guy upstairs everyday, I was not a victim of any of these acts. Many of us were not, but some of us may know someone who was an unfortunate target to a predator. Years after graduating from high school, there were at least two different coaches that were accused of inappropriate behavior with the students/athletes. One of the coaches committed suicide rather than face the consequences, and the other went to trial. I was shocked, as I had known both of the coaches, and even had one of them as a teacher. I tried to imagine what my peers (if indeed they had been one of the victimized) that had been assaulted must have felt. Shame? Embarrassment? A horrible stigma that they will never live down? Did they feel that they were weak or ignorant for allowing this to happen? How could they come forward against respected teachers/coaches for the school? What would be the consequences of their accusations? More importantly I wondered, how did they feel knowing their trust was shattered by someone they considered a hero and mentor? Why did they wait so long to come forward? My head began to hurt thinking about all of these possible thought patterns and emotions. It was out of my control so I was finally able to calm my mind, and then this story appears.
The case of Hermes Franca disgusted me and I hoped against hope that he was not capable of such things. When I read about Lloyd Irvin's students committing that crime, and later learning of his past sins, I was floored. Once again one hopes that a man in his position would not be capable of such crimes, but the way he conducted himself in the aftermath suggested that he was not a good man. Judging by Brent's article (fantastic work man) Irvin abused his position in the worst way imaginable. People of all ages came to him seeking knowledge and guidance. They put their faith and trust in his hands hoping to better themselves either physically, mentally or emotionally. And now all of that is thrown violently out the window. The crimes have been committed, but now what? Some have come forward in an effort to ensure that Irvin receives punishment for the unspeakable deeds that occurred at the academy. But what about those that are still struggling? What about those that had the courage to come forward? People will tell them that they are safe now. They will be told that they can trust those in authority to do the right thing. Sadly, they were told those things before from their idols who swore to be there for them.
I truly wish the best and send my condolences to the victims and the families for what they are enduring. I hope every victim can stand up and help to bring justice to this matter. My main hope, is that they realize this was not their fault despite any deterrents that are suggested to derail any predator. I truly hope that they will regain their ability to trust and know they are supported and that there is still good in the world.