A lot of communities today are taking a hard stand against sexual harassment and assault. Using social media shaming, ostracism, professional excommunication, whatever punishment is painful enough to shift the moral code by brute force. Through one incident in the Richmond, Va. hardcore music scene, we chronicle a social media callout and ask what pain can accomplish.
WARNING: This episode contains obscenities and descriptions of sex and violence.
Special thanks to the following musicians:
Division of Mind for the song "Brightout"
I.C.E. for letting us use several songs: "Joke's On You"; "Hard Feelings"; "Colder"; "Trust No Bitch"; and "Modern Scum"
Peals for the song "Become Younger" from their album Honey (courtesy of Rough Trade Publishing)
Lucy Stone and Grave Goods for their song "WYGCMA?"
Listeners have asked for more information on how communities can handle accountability for harm done, so here are some resources and organizations with strategies. Please note that we are not endorsing or approving ideas or practices of these groups, and that we are relaying how they describe themselves from their materials.
Creative Interventions Toolkit: "This Toolkit promotes an approach called community-based interventions to violence or what some call community accountability or transformative justice as a way to break isolation and to create solutions to violence from those who are most affected by violence - survivors and victims of violence, friends, family, and community. It asks us to look at those around us to gather together to create grounded, thoughtful community responses. It builds on our connections and caring rather than looking at solutions that rely only on separation and disconnections from our communities."
Taking Risks: Implementing Grassroots Accountability Strategies: "Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA) is a grassroots anti-rape organizing project in Seattle, has worked with diverse groups who have experienced sexual violence within their communities to better understand the nature of sexual violence and rape culture, nurture community values that are inconsistent with rape and abuse, and develop community-based strategies for safety, support, and accountability... In the following paper, we discuss these community guidelines and provide three illustrative examples of community-based models developed by activists in Seattle."
Community Accountability: Emerging Movements to Transform Violence: "A special issue of Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order (Vol. 37, No. 4, 2011-2012), critically examines grassroots efforts, cultural interventions, and theoretical questions regarding community-based strategies to address gendered violence. This collection encapsulates a decade of local and national initiatives led by or inspired by allied social movements that reflect the complexities of integrating the theory and practice of community accountability."
Just Practice: A Chicago-based "training series for activists, movement builders, community members, and non-profit workers who want to deepen their harm reduction skills and transformative justice practices."
Restorative Justice Center at Berkeley: "We offer strategies and processes to help individuals and campus communities respond to 'harm events,' including offensive or harmful speech and behavior, that cause people to feel marginalized or excluded based on ethnicity, gender identity or other identity category."
Feminist Action Support Network: "Working to address sexual and gendered violence in Chicago's music, DIY, art, and literary scenes. We look to empower people who have experienced rape and abuse through perpetrator accountability, resources, and support... We respond to sexual and gendered violence with a process of healing from harm and working to prevent further harm. Transformative justice seeks to heal survivors, perpetrators, and the community."
Support New York's Accountability Process Curriculum: "This curriculum is designed as an educational tool mostly to address patterns of consent violations, incidents of sexual assault, and verbal, emotional, and/or psychological intimate partner abuse. We started doing this work because we were concerned about violence occuring in our community, and that the existing systems we knew of to address this violence were not enough. We are not counseling professionals, and this document is designed to be used by people who are similarly doing this work within a community realm rather than a clinical one."