Many times working with my patients, I have come across a common theme - harassment after abuse. I am surprised how the word ‘consent’ is always lacking, be it to touch someone or to talk with someone. Learn to ask for consent and it’s okay to not consent.
There is an adverse effect on abuse survivors of how their family/friends/colleagues treat them after the abuse.
Things that happen -
1. Exclusion of the abuse survivor from gatherings
2. Constant talking about and referring to the abuser
3. Pretending as if nothing happened by others around them
4. Asking survivors to move on and let go
5. Forcing and persuading survivors to attend events where the abuser is present for social pressures
6. Having loved ones to continue speaking with the abuser and others who exist in his/her circle
I often hear arguments in family therapy rooms that we cannot boycott the abuser because he belongs to our family too or that we have asked the employee to resign etc etc.
By removing the abuser from the environment of the survivor or vice versa, we are only solving the immediate crisis of stopping the abuse.
Continuous conversations, reference of abuser in front of the survivor and pretentious behaviour of survivors trauma is also ABUSE.
Educate your family and friends about a lack of consent to talk about abuse and abuser with the survivor is emotionally damaging. Please contribute to the healing of your loved ones, not violating their personal rights.