so i went to the RVIVR show at the cambridge elks lodge yesterday, and it was horrible.
during their set, the female lead singer took it upon herself to talk about this zine that was on the merch table — i don’t remember the name, it’s not important — but apparently, it was an anonymous zine…
This is Erica from RVIVR, this thread has just been brought to my attention.
Trigger Warning: I reference sexual assault in this post.
First of all, I sincerely apologize that what I said on the mic brought hurtful feelings to anyone at the Boston show, especially survivors and including allies. This was not my intention and that this was a result of my words is devastating.
The zine I referenced was called “How to Find a Therapist”, it was in a collection of consent-themed zines laid out by someone related to the show, not by us, RVIVR.
My intention was to draw attention to a resource for people who may be confused/clueless/scared about how to proceed, responsibly, into and through an accountability process for their actions. Specifically the common request to “get therapy.” Especially since it’s not the responsibility of a survivor to educate or hold someone’s hand through such a process.
I understand that the part where I said something along the lines of “it is brave to write an anonymous zine, to take accountability for fucking up” sounds apologist. This was not my intention.
"Brave", is too powerful of a word. What I meant was, this is a rare example of someone speaking out as a perpetrator IN FAVOR of accountability. I think examples and models of behavior are very important. Our stage banter is not scripted and I wasn’t as eloquent as I wish I could be. I put my foot in my mouth.
It IS hard to take accountability for fucking up, whether it’s something giant like a sexual assault or something trivial like messing up and hurting a friend’s feelings.
We, RVIVR, recently heard a statistic that you can reference here about the horrifying number of people (of varied genders, I believe in the United States) aged 14-21 who have perpetuated or tried to perpetuate sexual assault. According to this statistic it’s 1 in 10. In my head, with this statistic, this means that we are living in a wounded community of survivors AND perpetrators. In my head, this calls for action to incite change, movement, real accountability. That was my intention.
I apologize that my words brought pain and brought up trauma.
If anyone would feel less intimidated having a private conversation, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
hey this is bex from rvivr. i just saw these posts and wanted to respond.
trigger warning, i talk about sexual assault and rape in this post.
sexual assault is so incredibly prevalent. based on statistics, we know that in any given crowded room at a punk show, a huge number of people in the room will have been assaulted/abused, and a huge number will be people who have assaulted/abused someone else. we gotta be talking about this, and it is hard to talk about without someone being triggered.
that said, i am incredibly sad to hear that what erica said on the mic at the show in boston was so triggering for some of the people who were in attendance. like erica says above, it wasn’t as eloquent as it could have been, and i also am very sorry for the pain and trauma that those comments brought up. that sucks and i am sorry.
i flipped through the zine in question before we played (it was titled something like “how to find a therapist” - maybe it was out of a larger compilation? i am not actually sure who was tabling with the zine collection or how to track this zine down). it was written anonymously by someone who has committed sexual assault, about their experience trying to find a therapist to get help, and tips for other perpetrators trying to find a therapist.
when i flipped through this zine, i thought “wow, this is cool”. i had that reaction both a survivor of sexual assault and as someone who has been a part of trying (unsuccessfully) to get perpetrators of sexual and emotional abuse/violence in my community to be held accountable for their actions.
sexual assault won’t ever be prevented if we never address those who assault. abusers and assaulters must stop, and they don’t stop unless they have help. we live in a sick broken society that rapes and teaches rape. it is so easy for people who have assaulted to just slip out of one punk community, queer community, relationship, etc, and into another one. down the street or across the country. it is easy for abusers to just move along and repeat the same fucked up behavior somewhere else.
we gotta talk about this shit. the zine that erica mentioned at the show captured one example of someone trying to figure out how to stop their pattern of behavior. that person is not a fucking hero, they don’t deserve anyone’s respect or accolades for going through an accountability process, but they DID write a zine that shows a good example for people looking for ways to change behavior and stop assaulting/abusing.
i am very sorry that people at the show were triggered by the comments erica made, AND i am happy that the zine exists, was at the show, and that erica mentioned it.
i deeply wish that the person who raped me when i was a fucking 15 year old baby would have seen this zine at a punk show when he was a teenager. maybe he would have recognized himself in there, and seen a way to get help. maybe he has. i haven’t talked to or seen that person a decade, but i still feel a sick nervousness that i might run into him whenever i go to olympia for band practice or meetings or shows. hopefully i’ll never see him again and never find out if he’s changed. he’s a shitbag and the shit he did to me is fucked up whether he ever changes or not. whether he goes to therapy or not. whatever! he’s a fuckhead. i don’t give a shit about him BUT i sure fucking wish that a zine collection about consent, sexual assault, accountability, finding a therapist, etc, had been available at shows i went to when i was younger.
i didn’t read the whole zine, i am not vouching for the content or the person who wrote it and i definitely don’t think the author should be given a standing ovation for working on their shit. but i do think that sexual assault has to be talked about, and that there have to be examples around for the huge fucking numbers of people who have or will assault or abuse.
so that’s what i gotta say for the moment. thanks for reading it. i know it’s kind of long and rambling but this brings up a lot of heavy shit for me - being accused of being a rape apologist as someone who has been through that kind of sexual violence really really fucking hurts.
this is my apology for the fact that our comments triggered people, and this is my two cents on why it is so fucking crucial that we all continue talking about this, between individuals, at shows, in our lives and relationships and communities. we are in a fucking hurt and broken world and shit’s gotta change.
if anyone wants to talk with me more about it you can email me at email@example.com
Trigger Warning for discussion of rape/sexual assault
Support Boston is the group that was tabling at the RVIVR show with the zine “How to Find a Helpful Therapist.” Before we continue with this post, we’d like to share a little bit about us. We’re a group collective of survivors* and allies who are working together to provide resources for those affected by sexual assault, abuse and intimate partner violence mainly (but not exclusively) within the punk and radical communities in the greaterBoston area. We table at shows with zines about consent, communication, calling out and the like. We have also run workshops in the past on consent and safer spaces and look forward to running more in the future.
We are the reason that “How to Find a Helpful Therapist” and other zines such as “Learning Good Consent,” “Consent 101” and the like were at the show on Friday. The zine “How to Find A Helpful Therapist” is an essay that we photocopied from a zine titled “It’s Down to This — Reflections, stories, experiences, critques and ideas on community and collective response to sexual violence, abuse and accountability,” which is an excellent (though potentially triggering) resource. That zine in it’s entirety can be read online here: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/01/26/18705714.php
We are deeply sorry that the presence and discussion of the zine at the show was triggering to people in the audience. By tabling these materials we hoped to create a discussion about these issues and spark critical thought. It was not our intention to trigger people or bring up past trauma by tabling with our distro. As Erica mentioned in her response to the OP “It IS hard to take accountability for fucking up, whether it’s something giant like a sexual assault or something trivial like messing up and hurting a friend’s feelings.” We hoped that the presence of this zine at the show would be a potentially helpful resource for people seeking therapy and/or people who have begun to hold themselves accountable for fucking up in the past.
Support Boston believes in the transformative justice model which operates outside of the prison industrial complex and believes that communities and groups of people know what is best for them and that locking people up doesn’t make communities safer or solve society’s problems. As many of us unfortunately know and have experienced firsthand…punk and DIY are not immune to mainstream issues like sexual assault/violence. Which is why we try to combat these issues in our community by sharing resources, conducting accountability processes, providing support and leading workshops.
Once again we are so very sorry that the discussion and presence of this zine at the show was triggering and traumatic for some audience members. However we are glad that this discussion has brought attention to resources out there for people who may have been previously unaware/scared with how to proceed or initiate an accountability process for their past actions. Because as Erica mentioned in her post, “It’s not the responsibility of a survivor to educate or hold someone’s hand through such a process.” This discussion has definitely made us think about how we will present our distro at future shows. We also hope that this discussion will raise awareness about other resources for folks seeking support. If there is anything we can better do to help you please please please let us know.
We encourage people to reach out and continue this conversation with us on a more interpersonal basis. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please do not hesitate to get in touch, we really do want to hear from you and want to hear how we can do a better job helping our community. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this.
- Support Boston
Ali, Diana, Kimberly, Krystina, Rani, Vicky