It happens everyday in places like The USA and other western countries, and that is people who want to help are actually doing emotional harm by simply saying the wrong thing. Although they want to help and have all the right intentions in mind, there was no emotional damage before they opened their mouth.
This becomes one of those models that you can plug in any value and the results will likely be identical. It does not matter if it was a child or an adult, it does not matter for male or female. In fact it can be any person who is oblivious to the views of other people. As for the place, a place that tends to over protect is more likely than places that do not over protect.
There is one key word that sets this entire chain of events off, and that word is ‘crime’. A crime is an event that violates a law that some people sat down and wrote. It could be anything from jaywalking to murder. And yes there are some crimes that involve sexual acts, and the more control the law imposes the longer the list of crimes.
So lets just say a child was exposed to a crime by definition. It could be a simple crime like forgetting to see the child’s seatbelt was on, or it could be a crime that a child saw something and thought nothing of it. To the child it simply did not register because they have yet to be taught that what they saw was a crime. To them it was just some event they observed.
So enter in the person who is good willed and wants to help this child who by their definition is a victim of a crime. Keeping in mind this child is completely oblivious to the fact that they are a victim by someone’s definition, and they are actually perfectly fine. So the first thing the good willed person says to the child reflects an outpouring of sympathy, ‘Are you OK? You can talk to me about it if you want, I am here to listen and help you.’
So suddenly the child is given the suggestion that they are somehow a victim of something, but still have not a clue what it is. At this point the trauma starts and is compounded by continued sympathy and providing more and more bits of information of why they are a victim. Keeping in mind it could be as simple as no seatbelt, the child now has a layer of fear and guilt that has been installed along with several other emotional problems that now require some form of counseling or therapy to root out.
Keeping in mind all this is what the good willed person just stuffed into the child’s head. If the incident happened in another place where what happened was not a crime, there would be no good willed person to come and traumatize the child and it would just be another day.
But yes there are incidences that the alleged victim is truly a victim, and they would already know about it because it was something they did not like and may have involved some form of violence. In that case the good willed person would actually be doing the right thing by saying ‘Are you OK? You can talk to me about it if you want, I am here to listen and help you.’