It’s their story
My daughter was subjected to years of sexual abuse as a child. When people ask we say she is a survivor of a violent crime unless we have her explicit permission to disclose more. It’s accurate enough to allow me to explain my caring role without sharing information about her without prior discussion.
Sometimes it’s assumed that because you are present in a meeting you’ve been given consent to hear everything that the other person has to say. Or you’ll be invited to sit in on a meeting, simply because you are in the waiting room. It’s become automatic now for me to stop conversations to check with my daughter that she consents to me hearing the information.
People would phone up and because my daughter wasn’t able to speak to them on the phone, they’d just start telling me stuff to pass on to her, especially when she was between 16 and 18. Yes – technically she was a child but there are some things you definitely don’t want to discuss with your Mum!
Deciding what to say and agreeing that with Drew was incredibly important. He needed to be in control of what we were saying about him. We chose a form of words that he was comfortable with and that made us all feel more confident.