Dee's Blog
Wed 02/06/2008
It's Never OK
Topic: Making Decisions

It is vitally important that all of us live by rules that are based on good judgment.   Judgment for the greater good. 

I'm frequently surprised at how survivors of clergy sexual abuse sometimes are prone to discard rules of civility, apparently reasoning that since "God's representative" broke the rules, then it's okay to do some rule-breaking in order to bring attention to the problems of abuse.  Not that this is a universal or even a common way of thinking.  It just amazes me whenever I see someone manipulating statistics, for example, in order to make a point.  I see this as counter-productive, for no scientific mind or professional is going to fail to see through such manipulation. 

It may surprise you to know that the same occurs with breast cancer.   You've seen the 1 in 8 figures?  Nobody bothers to tell you that this statistic is based on a life expectancy of 93.  Yes, if every woman lived to be 93, there would be a 1 in 8 chance of getting the disease.  That number was thrown around over a decade ago, just as it is today.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the life expectancy for women in 1995 was about 78.  These scare tactics have been successful in raising money and alarm, but undue alarm.  Breast cancer is a problem, I can certainly tell you as a victim of the horrific disease.  I want attention called to the problem as much as anyone.  Yet does this justify the misrepresentation of facts? 

As an author, I've had some instances of copyright violation committed by people who were either survivors or professionals in the role of advocacy.  The LAST place I'd expect to find such a boundary violation is in the survivor population.  Yet it's there.

Perhaps some would think I should not care.  After all, the reasoning goes, you should be glad your work is being used.  That's not the point!   Boundary crossing is cheating, no matter how it's done.  One can be cheated of time, money, reputation, or just an ability to make decisions that should be at the discretion of the one who was cheated.

May we never cease to monitor our own behavior and conscience.  It's never okay to cross boundaries, especially legal ones.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CST

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