An Open Response to Harm Done
It is never easy to know what a good response looks or sounds like. It’s made more complicated by the bounds of confidentiality and not having consent to discuss details openly in a public forum. Recognizing this letter is likely insufficient, we still wanted to respond and outline what we have done, are doing, and are able to do moving forward.
Some weeks ago the Consent Academy received notification about harm incurred during an intervention we mediated some years ago. We attempted to engage, but did not do so as skillfully as we could have. After several exchanges it became clear to us that we were not helping, and may have been making things worse. In accordance with our procedures, we formed a group to review the issue. This letter is the outcome of that process.
We believe and understand harm was done. There’s no response or explanation that can change what happened. As an organization and as the individuals making up that organization, we regret what happened.
We reviewed the notes and comments left. Through our process we determined that we’re able to meet some, but not all, of the requests made. As an organization there are things outside of our capacity. To address what we can, we offer the following:
We also took the feedback as an opportunity to improve our organization. We want to help make sure this negative experience doesn’t happen again. Along with other feedback, we are making the following changes to our practice:
*** We intend to complete #s 5-9 by October 2020.
We know these changes will not erase the harm experienced. We hope it lets people know that reaching out has and will make a difference. We are committed to taking feedback and making positive change as we are able.
We request everyone reading this respect the confidentiality of all those involved and refrain from asking for specifics or guessing at them. To uphold confidentiality and consent, we are not able to give any identifying details. Beyond that, we firmly believe everyone involved has a right to their privacy and the right to consent, or to withhold consent, to the telling of their story.
We are only posting this in a limited way. We acknowledge our part in what happened and have no wish to cause additional harm or hardship. This letter intends to show the changes we’re making and our process in working through a complicated situation while also living up to our own ethics.
There is certainly more we can do to improve. If there is other feedback or suggestions, please contact us via the website: www.consent.academy/contact.html
The Consent Academy