Jeffrey Epstein’s Death is an Injustice to Survivors that Cannot Be Ignored
Jeffrey Epstein is dead. We long for the justice that will roll down like waters for survivors of the crimes—the atrocities—committed by Jeffrey Epstein. Until then, though, the delay of justice that is Jeffrey Epstein’s death by apparent suicide is yet another bitter injustice for survivors.
In life—and, tragically, again now in death—Jeffrey Epstein carved a cavernous void of destruction in the hearts and lives of his victims. These survivors deserve to see justice meted out on their behalf. With the death of Epstein, the wealthy financier-turned-sex trafficker, they might not be afforded that closure.Jeffrey Epstein's death by apparent suicide is not the justice that was sought by survivors who bravely told their stories and sought to hold him accountable for his crimes. Click To Tweet
Even if Epstein’s estate is divided to provide his victims with restitution, these survivors have been robbed of the opportunity to see their abuser himself brought under the powerful deluge of justice. Even if Epstein’s co-conspirators are to be indicted and brought to trial, these survivors have been robbed of the opportunity to bring a torrent of justice to their abuser himself. With Jeffrey Epstein’s death, the survivors of his abuse join a long line of people who have had restorative justice stolen from them. Not many survivors have had the opportunity to see justice hammer an abuser the way over 150 women did with Larry Nasser. Such an opportunity may not “solve” the matter or heal every wound, but it is a deeply important thing.
A deeply important thing that has now been denied the survivors of Jeffrey Epstein’s horrific abuses.
Jeffrey Epstein’s death by apparent suicide is not the justice that was sought by survivors who bravely told their stories and sought to hold him accountable for his crimes. It does survivors of his abuses no favors for anyone to attempt to mollify them with milquetoast ascriptions of his suicide being a form of justice. Instead of attempting to placate survivors when justice is miscarried or averted, we must mourn with them. For there is a deep power in mourning, particularly when it comes to injustice. Mourning can sharpen and unify the passion of the soul.
So, in the face of the untimely and unjust death of Jeffrey Epstein, it is important that we not attempt to explain away the pain of justice delayed. Instead, we must mourn too and then let our mourning become passionate and unwavering resolve in action against the evils of his exploitation and of exploitation in all its forms.
It is no small thing when a survivor opens up about the trauma(s) that have been perpetrated against her or him. For the survivors whose wounds have been deepened by this event, we mourn with you. It is no small thing when a survivor stands up against an abuser. For the survivors whose quest for justice feels undercut by this untimely and unjust death, we mourn with you. It is no small thing when abusers are made to face the strength and dignity of those they attempted to marginalize and destroy. For the survivors who will not have the opportunity to do just that because of this death, we mourn with you. It is no small thing when the world forgets about and moves on from survivors and their stories because they’re no longer “timely.” For the survivors who feel stranded and alone, we mourn with you.
We mourn with you but we pledge to stand alongside you and fight alongside you to ensure that your strength and bravery will not have been in vain. Even now your strength, courage, and perseverance are not in vain. Even still, our hearts ache for yours. Even still, our souls yearn for you—each and every one of you—to see justice roll down like waters.
To the survivors of Epstein's trafficking and abuse:
We believe you. We stand with you. He's gone, but you are here. We need your voices and your courage, however you see fit. This isn't the end of your story, or the end of fighting together for the truth, and against this evil.
— Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) August 11, 2019
Justice will roll down like waters.
We will see to it together. We will work together, arm in arm, to bring justice to the marginalized and abused each and every day. With each woman, man, and child saved, justice will be served. With each heart and soul put on the path of healing and restoration, justice will be served. With each abuser stopped in his or her tracks, justice will be served. With every story told and ally won, justice will be served. With every beat of your heart and breath from your lungs, justice will be served.
The untimely and unjust death of Jeffrey Epstein is not the end of the story. Because it was never his story at all. Our mourning will serve to sharpen and unify our resolve to fight sexual exploitation in every form. Evil beware.