Crime on the Rise: Can Psychology Help?
By Dr. Alces Dor
In this episode, I intend not to go on full-scale academic writing as usual, but I just want to express my opinions on a few points relative to the subject.
1. National Day of Prayer, fasting, and repentance.
As vice president of the TCI-Christian Council, I was actively involved alongside the president, Pastor Wilbert Jennings, and other colleagues, in putting together this milestone event which I firmly believe the ecclesiastic community in particular and the country at large needed very much.
It is surreal that the very same weekend hailed an increase in violent gun-related crimes. Now, is it a way to doubt the power of prayers and the goodness of God, as some people would have supposed?
The Role of Faith Communities in Time of Crisis
I believe people should better understand the role of faith communities in times of crisis. On the one hand, widely, people can be worried about the situation, and often don’t take action because they feel helpless and overwhelmed. On the other hand, faith communities address helplessness in multiple ways, both directly and indirectly.
For instance, when they seek consensus among the clergy, and at the national scale level to develop a synergy to gather for worship as they turn toward a Higher Power-- God, divine Mystery, Creator, Source in whose presence we are uplifted, and feel our strength renewed.
Entrusting ourselves to God can release within us unexpected power. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20, New International Version).
The Role of the Government: Punishing Evil, Promoting Good
whereas believers are instructed to “never…pay back evil for evil,” and “never take your own revenge.” It's not that God is telling us to forget or ignore injustice. God will exercise vengeance now or later, and the government is one of his tools for doing this. (Romans 12:17-19, NIV).
According to Romans 13:4, the government is supposed to punish the evil-doer. It is a “minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” So, it is safe to maintain that the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, and Repentance fulfills its purpose.
2. What Does Society Do for the Victim’s Next of Kin?
In light of the rise of gun violence in the Turks and Caicos Islands, two groups of people need urgent psychological support.
I. Growing number of evidence indicates that many people who have closely tied to a culprit (alive or dead) are living in significant fear. They don't trust anyone—Not a friend or even the police. For some, the country is just a burning fire under their feet to the point that the only survival option would be leaving their lovely TCI for any destination, where living conditions can be very uncertain. In addition to the trauma that will follow them wherever they choose to go.
II. The next of kin to the victims are also experiencing severe stress, anxiety, trauma, and depression. Some of them are wondering if they will not be the next victim. Others may resort to revenge as a way of taming down their aggressive impulses, and the very modest ones are thinking about leaving their lovely TCI for any destination where living conditions can be very uncertain. Besides, anger and hate can easily ruin their lives wherever they think to go.
In Conclusion, if this phenomenon remains unchecked, and the people do not receive psychological support, our nation may be on the brink of facing another severe crisis in the aftermath of gun violence — bipolar people will take on our streets.
I strongly recommend the concept of sublimation. Sublimation is a defense mechanism—an unconscious psychological defense that reduces the anxiety that may result from unacceptable urges or harmful stimuli.
Alces Dor is Psychologist (PsyD).
He can be contacted at: Email:Alcesdor@yahoo.com or phone: 649-242-4551