A Public Service Announcement.
An accusation of assault is one we should all take very seriously.
Especially since have all been reminded of how we should build 'community' around here...we must stand together, right? Voice our opinions. Tell someone when they have wronged us. If we are told that words hurt, then surely physical acts of violence require even more outrage. Honest outrage. Protection for those who can not protect themselves.
It is the type of accusation that I believe requires all of our attention. Immediately. No one has a right to physically intimate, assault or restrain someone against their will. Period.
I have been a member of a specific 'online community' for five years. I have seen many things go on and I almost always stay out of everyone's way. There is never a time for me to blindly follow a story line. I know the tales people weave to create their images. In real life this sucks. Online it is magnified.
But there are some stories that require a voice to say: No, that is not true.
Friday night was my reminder of that.
While I was speaking to someone who believes that I should have stood up for them against someone's else's words, and while I was accused of being a bad friend by their husband.
I admit it: I lost it.
For 7 months, I have silently watched while fireworks went off around there. Perhaps I should have said something. I don't know. I assumed it would all blow over. But it hasn't.
How do I know? Because this woman voiced something that she and I both know is not true. But this time, she said it directly to me.
She accused someone of assaulting her. Making her fearful. Restraining her. And then she said: They were drunk.
All four statements are not true. I know, because I was there for most of the night that this happened, and two other bloggers caught the 'action' I missed. These two other bloggers were used as a defense again on Friday and yet we all know it isn't true. They never said what she keeps implying.
In fact, I saw all of the parties involved the very next night and saw the post party pics. The accused and the accuser: Smiling. Together.
The post event texts and calls that went on for months after the 'act of violence'. The erotic pictures. Everything.
I saw it all. And I sat back and said: Fuck this. If no one else will say anything, I will go to Paris, I will plan our group's Vegas trip and then I am done talking about this here or there or anywhere. Perhaps I am the only one worrying about this fact vs. fiction and I must stop.
And then on Friday, while I was being accused of being a 'bad friend' to someone I had to remind has no friendship with me outside of the internet, I heard it:
The attack on another blogger.
I'm tired of it. If you're willing to throw this person under the bus. The person you dedicated numerous blog posts to; the person you know you were more than just 'blog friends' with, the person you actively sought out on many occasions, what will you say about your other friends? What are you saying? How often have you repeated this story that you have said, in writing, was an exageration?
The truth is I do not want to find out.
I want this to end. Why? Because it is wrong.
Do you all hear what I am saying? It is wrong to accuse anyone of anything that is not true.
And if you find yourself on the receiving end of accusations and you know you can prove them to be lies, I want you to ask yourselves if we, as a community, have a right to know when one of our own is not honest about things that are relevant to our safety.
Yes, that goes for anyone here who has ever been accused of anything they know is not true: How did this make you feel? Better yet, how does it make you feel now. Time passes, but a betrayal feels the same, right? It never goes away. You look at someone and know they will lie, sometimes to your face, just to keep their standing.
You want to know why I didn't say anything before today? Because I was asked to sit silently even when I knew better.
Perhaps that is the real reason why I shut down my blog there and have been writing elsewhere. I was tired of being told what I could write. What our 'community' wanted to hear.
That's my mistake. I forgot that we all have a voice.
I forgot that when you know someone puts their own place on a virtual perch higher than the safety and integrity of their 'friendships' than everyone loses.
It is wrong to scare people with words. It is wrong to make accusations you know are false.
(originally posted on alternate blog site: 3.27.11)