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A similar question came up after talk show host and veteran journalist
Charlie Rose was fired amid accusations unwanted sexual advances.
“What do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible? How do you wrap your brain around that? I’m really grappling with that,” Rose’s co-host of “CBS This Morning,” Gayle King, said.
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And Sarah Silverman, after fellow comedian
Louis C.K. admitted that he had engaged in sexual misconduct, asked, “Can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them? I can mull that over later, certainly, because the only people that matter right now are the victims.”
These questions are common, said Laura Palumbo, a certified sexual assault counselor and communications director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, who added that there’s no right or wrong way to feel after finding out someone you care about has committed sexual violence.
She added that sometimes people maintain a rapport with a loved one, even after finding out they’re a perpetrator.
“For individuals who are friends and family, they likely don’t want to just cut the person out. Most often times, they want the individual to get the help they need, take accountability for their actions, and begin to work to not only change their behaviors, but to provide whatever support they can offer to the person they’ve caused harm to,” she said.
Palumbo said many people, as they process their emotions, find comfort in taking empowering steps toward preventing future sexual violence.
“Think about how you can re-examine your own actions. Be an active bystander. Donate to organizations that work to prevent sexual violence and teach the individuals and children in your life the importance of respecting others,” she said.
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