Selective Mutism and Sexual Harassment
This article aims to outline a very important issue, especially, for those who are diagnosed with Selective Mutism. People with SM are often more prone to sexual exploitation and harassment because most of us with this disorder are nonverbal outside of our immediate family and surroundings, therefore people affected by this disorder are more likely to be taken advantage of.
People who are selectively mute are not able to give consent or verbally express that they don’t like something, or are feeling uncomfortable with what the other person is doing to them, or in their presence. For this reason, many people take advantage of our disability and manipulate the situation into making it seem normal or okay.
Some people can take advantage of our disability by speaking on our behalf, in the form of relaying false messages about us to others, or ostensibly pretending to have our best interest, when in reality their intentions are purely malevolent
People with SM are more prone to coercion from others due to the repercussions of our condition - since we often cannot speak verbally, people can misinterpret our silence and manipulate us into doing what they want us to do, seemingly without any consequences
Let’s raise awareness of the challenges that people with Selective Mutism have to face, because even though this condition is quite rare, it is very important to learn about it in order to help those affected by it - and hopefully, by educating yourself enough about SM, you can even help someone with it in a vulnerable situation.
Bekki Semenova is a proud individual with Selective Mutism, Autism, and several other conditions.
By writing this article, she aims to elucidate the challenges and situations that people with Selective Mutism are often prone to experiencing, and therefore hopes to see change take place, with more equity and support for people with Selective Mutism like her - who are often estranged by society and suffering in silence.
If you would like to ask further questions or share experiences, you are more than welcome to contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org - she would be more than happy to support and connect with you!