Awareness and triggers

I’m usually not one to re-share a lot of stuff on Facebook, my exceptions being stuff that I’m either fairly sure my friends will enjoy, or topics which I consider important. So most of the time when I bother it’s geek humour, but I also occasionally re-share something about a social issue that’s important to me. Usually it’s just something with a personal connection, but once in a while I see something that I know touches on the people I care about, and I want them to know they have my support. Last week, one of these issues popped up on my wall–child abuse. It was simply a photo with a standard ‘Like if you’re against, scroll if you don’t care’ message, but it caught my attention. Partly because the photo itself was fairly powerful, but also because there are people in my life who have been touched by this. I’ve seen the pain and anger that the issue can pull up, giving me a more personal reason to care about it.

That was the same reason I knew I absolutely could not pass the image on.

Normally I skip such things because I don’t see the point. This was different, though, because I would like the people close to me to know that I am there for them, that I care about their pain. I also don’t want to add to their pain, which is exactly what I knew would happen if they saw the image. I would bring up the very pain and anger that I want to see erased from this world and from the lives of those dear to me. Maybe they would have been appreciative of the gesture anyways, but the cost wasn’t worth it.

Awareness of various issues can sometimes be a minefield. In some cases it’s a matter of choosing your words carefully, and not re-inforcing stigma against the people you’re ‘helping’. Other times it can be about avoiding triggering bad memories in people who are affected by the issue at hand. I know that the person who shared that image with me was trying to show support for victims, but I also have to wonder how many people were inadvertently hurt by well-meaning people innocently clicking a button.


One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Facebook.


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