Charisma Carpenter has offered advice on how to support victims of abuse
The 50-year-old actress claimed last month that 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' showrunner Joss Whedon had been abusive and harassed her when she worked on the show, and though she's been "overwhelmed" by the supportive messages she received, she admitted some comments "fell short"
8 March 2021
In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter titled 'How To Be an Ally of Victims of Abuse', she wrote: "Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed by phone calls, emails, public comments and DMs of support in response to an open letter that I had posted on social media about my personal experience with an abuse of professional power
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"The truth is that while the inundation of comments and calls were rooted in good intentions, some still fell short.
"It dawned on me that many may not know how to be an ally or to best support a survivor of trauma. I’m regrettably all too familiar with experiencing physical and mental abuse.
"I was terrorised at the hands of an abusive family member when I was a child. And I’ve had a gun held to my head at point blank range while barely escaping rape. And based on the open letter I wrote, you now know about the psychological abuse I endured while acting on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel."
Charisma explained she hadn't made her allegations about Joss to "unpack" trauma but wanted her open letter to serve as a "wake-up call" to "foster change".
She continued: As a result of sharing my personal experience, others have come forward to confide in me and reveal their own experiences with abuse.
"So it is my aim to help educate anyone reading this on how to be an ally and support a person who has survived trauma in its many incarnations.
"While I am not a licensed therapist, I’ve gone through two decades of therapy for my PTSD and, in a genuine desire to overcome my pain, I’ve learned so much.
"I hope these suggestions will not only provide more empathy for victims of abuse but create an evolved, empathetic society that will encourage the next person to come forward. And the next one. And the next one — until there’s no longer a need for anyone to have to come forward at all."
Among her 17 suggestions to help others cope with trauma was to not ask others to "share details of their trauma beyond what they are willing to volunteer," "believe others when they tell you they are hurt," "don't play devil's advocate for an abuser," be empathetic, "don't blame people for staying in abusive situations", and not tell people to "rise above, or move on, or get over" abusive experiences.