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VICTIMED FOREVER - The Accidental and Forgotten Contributors of an Intricate Criminal Saga.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The word “True Crime” has been unanimously used in describing an actual event involving criminal acts, mostly in the context of brutality. Gone are the days when only a particular channel broadcasted cable shows late at night, describing a gruesome event with effects to keep the public entertained, and informed. With the arrival of social media and OTT, it's become super effortless to get news about despicable crimes being committed worldwide.

There seems to be a special inclination towards action, particularly violence which draws the attention of even the most cherry-hearted humans, as this act drives our mind into curiosity and long-lasting attention to the aftermath more so as an actual crime event is at the expense of a human life, The fact that a human life is at stake in a crime event awakens the inquisitive part of our minds, driving us to delve deep into the story with an insatiable hunger for every intricate detail.

Amidst the excitement of waiting for an update on a developing news story relating to crime or the anticipation of thrill left to be discovered on the next episode of a fictional series, the neglect of the emotions of unwarranted victims of the crime takes hold as little to no attention is paid to this group, who at most turn into a mere display of a damsel object.

In any context, whether a movie or a news story, the perpetrator always makes the cover of the incident, and their information is spread on the medium with artistic effects, which makes the viewers and readers drive more focus on the motive and their background, and thereby are stirred away from the suffering of the unfortunates.

When the average media consumer tunes into a movie based on a true event, or picks up a book falling under the true crime category, the inclination is to witness and read about the depiction of the act of crime, and how the whole thing unfolded chronologically, and THE END.

It's important to clarify that even though the victims are the ones who bring the case to a close, they are only given a condolence message by the content creator as a final gesture. This acknowledgment is simply meant to provide some comfort to the loved ones, but it falls short of truly addressing their needs and concerns. What if equal emphasis was placed on getting to know the victim's background and dedicating an additional 30 minutes into a series talking about the same, or honoring a sequence of chapters only addressing their legacy of whatever it might have left off

Doing the above will have consumers make a paradigm shift from just satisfying their desired curiosity of the unexpected,  to knowing more about the disastrous ending of innocent lives and how their loved ones are having to live amidst the whole thing. It’s bad enough to lose someone through natural causes, or unexpected events, but then having to know that the person who meant everything to you was ripped away of their existence with exorbitant cruelty, and how the last few moments must’ve been, would kill you little by little every day.

A study conducted by the International Review of Victimology stated that Even though, though the next few years have provided the affected with exponential mental comfort, in terms of feeling less guilty about not being there for them, a sudden reminder of the passing would lead to a devastating outburst, especially during family-oriented or special gatherings, such as festivals of all kinds, thanksgiving, birthdays, and even a new clue in the criminal case against the attacker, which would then have the loved ones go through the turmoil of that dreadful chain of thoughts and hear the harrowing details again.

Oftentimes, the affected ones are faced with being a cover article for a new movie, or a TV series dedicated to the events of the crime, and are relentlessly from that point on, used as pawns in the creator's story. The victims should be making the headlines, and also the backbone of these stories, but the only trope that is eventually played out is the 360 display of the perpetrator, from the beginning until the end, thereby glorifying the unwanted. This enhances audience participation and helps generate profits. The intense desire to know the unknown, and the psyche behind the killer's motive, shoots up the dopamine hormone inside the consumer, leaving them with the want to know more about this unusual behavior of the attacker, overshadowing the victim's legacy in the process.

This mere chase for gratification and profits has created a great divide between the affected and society in general. The expectation is always to have a supportive community of like-minded individuals, whose goals remain to create a sense of belonging. Being fixated on that dreadful event isn’t going to lead to a greater state of mind, but rather understanding the pain and the mental agony, would help the community to move forward together. As soon as the media packs up and leaves, along with all the social attention eventually coming to an end, the empty sound of air is all that is left behind for the affected, as that is the lowest point of suffering for these individuals, as they are left by themselves, playing out the horrifying even in countless different scenarios in their head, which creates more mental distress.

Unifying the groups, and lessening the divide would need the society, which includes the regular public to turn the lens straight, and self-introspect their actions which allows this group to be exploited. Condolences never add up and fade away into the air, as soon as they’re handed out, along with well-wishing cards. Artistic talent should never be influenced by subjective opinions, although the vulnerable group would be able to find great comfort in knowing that, visual creators can help rekindle the legacy of the fallen, symmetrically while they practice their “Freedom of Expression”. A united community would come together regardless of the hardships displayed or problems mounted, by providing an open grieving platform, and not opening up old wounds and pouring salt on them.

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