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How To Deal When Someone You Trusted Is Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

How To Deal When Someone You Trusted Is Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

Refinery29
By Maria Del Russo
November 29, 2017

Excerpt Below:

When Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced the firing of Matt Lauer on Today this morning, a result of a detailed complaint of sexual misconduct, they openly grappled with some of the complicated emotions that revelations like this can bring up. “I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and partner,” Guthrie said. “And I am heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story.” They owned up to these conflicting feelings, then posed this burning question: “We are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks — how do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?

In the case of high-profile men who are nothing but media or government talking heads to the average person, we can reflexively write off the accused as flat-out evil — because we don’t know them as human beings or have personal relationships with them. But if it were a friend or a colleague who stood accused, your history with them could color your view, especially if you never witnessed or experienced anything yourself that would point to abuse. “A lot of times when we talk about abusers and survivors, we look at the situation in black-and-white,” says Brian Pacheco, the director of public relations for Safe Horizon. “But it’s so much more complicated than that. And those complicated feelings are validated, because survivors themselves deal with them.”

It’s important to let the abuser know that you may love them in other areas of your life, but this thing is wrong,” Pacheco says. And it’s important to recognize that yourself, too. “You don’t have to love an entire person,” Pacheco says. “And I was really impressed by the response by Savannah and Hoda, because it showed that duality. They knew Matt in another setting. They knew him as a good person, but they felt for the survivor.

Read the original article here.