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Shannon Moroney

Bestselling Author and Advocate of Restorative Justice

Shannon was a practicing teacher and counselor when her husband’s crimes tore her life apart. After experiencing a void of support for families of criminals, she became a restorative justice advocate who speaks internationally on the ripple effects of crime. A volunteer with Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE) and Peacebuilders International, she is also a contributor to The Forgiveness Project. Shannon’s memoir, Through the Glass, became an instant bestseller in Canada upon its publication in 2011. The book sparked discussion and debate across the country about gaps in the justice and correctional systems, raising awareness about the ripple effect of crime.

Toronto, ON, Canada

Presentations

-Shannon candidly shares the agony and helplessness she felt toward her husband’s assault victims, and articulates her painful transition from being a respected professional, homeowner and active community member one day, to being the wife of a sex offender the next. -Shannon advocates for the recognition, voice and support for all people harmed by crime: direct victims of offences and those collaterally harmed, like the family of the offender. She challenges readers and audiences to understand the “ripple-effect of crime” in a nuanced way. -Shannon shares the possibilities for restorative justice to address the needs of victims and hold offenders to account in a meaningful way, beyond mere punishment. She frequently addresses prison inmates with the aim of building empathy, while advocating that governments work to address the root causes of crime (poverty, lack of education, child abuse, trauma and mental illness). -Shannon speaks to the healing possibility of forgiveness, sharing her own experience of “forgiving the person, but not the crimes”. She is a member of the International Forgiveness Project.

  • Shannon Moroney tells her heart wrenching, personal story with such clarity and peace, bringing a new perspective on who can be affected in the aftermath of serious crime. More importantly, her restorative justice story is a remarkable one of moving forward with forgiveness and toward healing. Shannon uses her gift of storytelling to share her very special story that will leave you believing in the power of forgiveness.

    - Youth Justice Coordinator, Cochrane-Timiskaming, ON
  • Shannon's warm and engaging personality allows those listening to immerse themselves in her story. She is prepared, professional and inspiring. The courage to tell her story and share her personal journey touches people deeply.

    - -Regional Victim Services Manager, Correctional Service Canada
  • Her presentation brought to everyone's consciousness the reality of the pain, suffering and trauma that family members of offender's experience, and how they are often relegated to "guilty by association.

    - Program Coordinator Restorative Justice Victoria

Summary Profile

On November 2005, 30-year old Shannon Moroney was a respected educator, proud homeowner, active volunteer and happy newlywed. While away attending a conference, a knock at her hotel room door shattered the life she knew. It was a police officer, there to deliver the shocking news that her house was a crime scene and her husband, Jason, was in custody after confessing to the violent sexual assault and kidnapping of two women. Grief, confusion, stigma and loss stalked her. Within weeks, she lost her job, her income, her ability to trust and the future she planned for. She felt agony for the assault victims but was powerless to help them. The effects of her husbands violence rippled through the community and lines were drawn. Some relationships ended, while others strengthened. Shannon also had to grapple with Jason’s past: a violent episode as a teenager ended with the death of a woman and a conviction of second-degree murder. A decade in prison followed by years of parole had made him a success story and an example of the redemptive powers of the system. By the time they met, Jason was re-establishing his life and giving back to the community. Officials were certain that he would never re-offend, and trusting both them and Jason, Shannon chose to become part of his second chance: the best second chance that anyone could ask for. They built a beautiful life together. But underneath his positive exterior, Jason had hidden a dark side: fear, addiction, sexual deviance and a childhood history of abuse. Telling himself that he was in control of his demons, he didn’t reach out for help until it was too late—until he’d terribly harmed two innocent victims, torn apart the lives of many more, and landed himself back in prison. While Jason spent months in solitary confinement, Shannon was thrust into a painful and uncertain new identity—left to answer for Jason in his absence, face public scrutiny over her marriage, cope with a major criminal investigation, and mourn the loss of the life she’d known.

Shannon faced difficult choices as she searched for a path that would lead her out of trauma and toward a positive future. She was awarded a fellowship to complete a Masters’ degree in England where she studied trauma and resilience. When she returned to Canada, she became active in the emerging field of restorative justice and began speaking out about her experience, sharing a raw and honest account of the impact that Jason’s crimes had on her professional and community status, as well as on her relationships with others and herself. In detailing her heartbreaking story of grief, violence, judgment and stigma, she also tells the story of a journey filled with compassion, restoration, forgiveness and hope. Since 2008, Shannon has been addressing audiences around the world.

Her memoir, Through the Glass, was published in Canada in 2011 where it became an instant national bestseller and nominee for several awards including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. In 2012, it was published internationally. Shannon now lives in Toronto, Canada, where she is remarried and the mother of twins. A volunteer with Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE), she is also a contributor to the international Forgiveness Project.