I’ve never been one of those who thought they would never be the victim of a violent crime.
I always did think it could happen to me. I just never thought it would be in the middle of a Charleswood parking lot.
Last week, I was mugged outside a bank by two teenage girls. It happened just two minutes away from my Charleswood home, in almost broad daylight. They were young, dressed in cheap, knock-off athletic wear.
The girls didn’t take a lot from me. Not my phone, my purse, nor any of the little treasures I keep in it. Just some money. That being said, the experience was frightening, and I wish it hadn’t happened.
The responses from many of the friends and family I’ve talked to about this experience have been what one would expect. They can’t believe such young girls would do such a thing in Charleswood, of all places — and they’re shocked and angry.
I’ve lived in Charleswood for much of my life. It’s a place I feel safe.
But being the victim of a crime brought up a question I’ve never had to seriously consider. What should be my response to that crime? Do I even really need a response?
I know I would be within my right to be angry. But all I really feel is sadness.
What could have happened in the lives of those two young women to make them think that threatening and robbing another young women is acceptable?
According to a recent Winnipeg Police Service report, violent crime in Winnipeg is down, but youth crime is up. Our youth are more violent and crime-prone than ever before.
I can deal with the idea of an adult man compelled to commit a crime. It fits my idea of what it means to be ‘bad’ — regardless of what other complexities are involved.
But when I look into someone’s eyes and see a defiant kid looking back at me, that’s where things get messy. I try and dredge up some anger, but I can’t make it last.
Girls, I wish the world was fair and I wish you didn’t think mugging someone is a thing that you could do.
And the rest of us should remember: Charleswood isn’t a bubble.
We have our share of sad, sad problems.
Amanda Thorsteinsson is a community correspondent for Charleswood.