Is it okay to keep someone in your life if you know they have abused others in the past, but they've always treated you well? Or are you morally obligated to cut them out of your life once you find out about their history? I know there's a danger that someone who has abused others in the past may someday abuse you (and that's definitely worth considering), but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm only referring to the morality of keeping them in your life, not the potential safety concerns.
I don’t know.
The easy answer is “get rid of them,” but honestly? It’s not reasonable to expect that someone who’s committed abuse never have friends again. Especially because the practical outcome would be “they only have friends who either don’t know about what they did or approve of it.” So I don’t know.
If you are a friend or relative of someone they’ve abused, then you really do have to get rid of them. Being their friend is going to send a lot of awful “hey, let’s not rock the boat here” and “there are two sides to this story” type messages to the person they’ve abused, and that’s really not okay.
But if that isn’t the case… I don’t know.
I guess what I’ll say is that it can be okay to be their friend, but not their accomplice. If you’re their friend, that friendship can include cannot include saying “it wasn’t so bad, people are being really hard on you, your victim wasn’t such a saint anyway” or nodding along when they say it. It cannot include staying their friend if they’re currently abusing or grooming someone. Obviously it’s not your job to be their therapist or accountability-buddy—you can do fun, ordinary friend things together—but you do have to watch that you never get recruited into defending or apologizing for them.
(more personal discussion/digression under the break)