Revictimizing the victim

Since I posted here about Mac McClelland’s piece on her own PTSD, and how she used violent sex to lift herself out of it, I thought it appropriate to give voice to one of her sources. A Haitian woman whose experiences were tweeted by McClelland has found the means to say that she never gave McClelland permission to share her story in such a way. The author here even suggests that McClelland put her source’s life in danger.

There’s a fine line when we choose to share someone else’ experiences through any media outlet, be it social media, a newspaper or an online magazine. I don’t remember who said it, but I was once told that in order to be a good reporter, you have to be warm enough to earn people’s trust, and then callous enough to betray it by telling their story to the world.

We’re all talking more about the problem of rape in war-torn or disaster-affected countries as a result of this story, I’m sure. Haiti, Congo, Syria. Not many of us likely have ideas about how to fix it, but I think we can all agree that retraumatizing a victim does not add up to good work.

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