On Forgiveness

Too often child sexual abuse survivors, adult rape survivors and survivors of other of forms sexual violence are expected to forgive the harm doers (including the bystanders) without too much, if any accountability for the harm caused.

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Seeking accountable forgiveness is important. However, no harm doer should expect it just because they sought it.

It is the survivor who has the right to decide if and when they will accept the request.

Demanding or expecting forgiveness is another form of violence. Once again, the survivor is being asked to perform an action they may not be willing or even able to perform.

Forgiveness comes from within. It may happen in the absence of the harm doer(s) seeking it. It may not happen when the harm doer(s) seek it.

Forgiveness is an important journey and simultaneously, it is a complex process.