About this time last year, I wrote a series of blogs tangentially dealing with a dark cloud of events that hit us pretty hard. Astute observers probably pieced together why I meditated on how we can’t protect the ones we love, or why Wrath James White guest blogged on the topic he did, or why I wrestled with praying for our enemies and with my rock/fortress.

Well, yes, my sister was raped a year ago. She recently went public with it. We were worried that she was going to spend August going from the happiest time in her life (her wedding) to re-living the worst (the trial was set to begin two weeks later). On the day of, the perpetrator realized the mountain of forensic evidence against him and took a plea agreement. The plea was for 60 years. I was asked to write a letter to the judge. Here’s what I wrote:

Your Honor,

I will keep this brief. I am Rohini’s older brother and I am a co-leader at the church she attends. It’s been my job to set an example and look out for her. We are taught to be a community of forgiveness. We, both within our family as well as a community as believers, have taught Ro to be a person who forgives.

But I’m not there yet.

I wasn’t there to keep the bad things from happening to my sister, to protect her like a big brother should. I want to forgive this man before you for the hurt he has done to my baby sister. Many of her scars have healed. Some will stay with her forever:

-affecting her marriage, to know and trust her husband
-affecting her relationship with her kids, knowing that she won’t always be able to protect them
-not being able to truly feel safe

That’s what he took from my sister.

So one day, I hope he comes to see himself for who he is. That he has come to the limit of going through life under his own strength, feeding his own selfish needs. That he asks for God’s forgiveness and allow Him to draw him near and change his life.

But I’m not there yet.

I ask Your Honor to do what you can to help make my sister feel safe again. Because I can’t.

Maurice Broaddus

She posted what she said here. The perpetrator also spoke. The judge ended up sentencing him to 100 years. One reason why my sister is going public with all of this is because she’s going to become a survivor’s counselor. Yet another reason why my sister is my hero.

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