has this phenomenon been named? i’ve met so many survivors who have had this experience. survivors may ultimately feel abandoned by radical communities who were initially eager to give their support because the community does not sustain support after the perpetrator is “dealt” with.
[trigger warning for abuse]
what usually happens is something like this…
- radical communities are made aware of a situation where someone has been abused, raped, or sexually assaulted.
- there is an outpouring of support from people who want to know how they can help the survivor. they may contact the survivor and ask them what they can do to support them, but what they really mean is, “what do you want us to do with the perpetrator?”
- the “accountability process” is the default framework used by radicals, although i actually think it is often extremely inappropriate in situations where a trauma bond has been formed (because of the way “hope” for the restoration of the abuser is used to keep a traumatized person bonded to their abuser).
- the perpetrator is dealt with, either by being “restored” through an accountability process, removed from the community, etc.
- individuals or the community feel like they have done something in the situation and that it is over. the survivor is forgotten.
- but this is often just the beginning for the survivor. the survivor is now faced with the task of rebuilding their life, and the community or the radical individuals who were so concerned about the situation don’t seemed as concerned about this. the survivor is confused because everyone always said the whole process was about meeting their “needs” and that the process was for them.
i don’t exactly know why this happens, but it does. maybe it has something to do with the way care labor has been devalued in our communities, or the absence of any glory or radical cred in providing consistent support for survivors? whatever the cause, it feels shitty.