Cw: sexual assault
The purpose of this statement is to communicate to touring bands, musicians and showgoers that The Free Clinic is not a safe space. DITKalamazoo will not be posting shows from The Free Clinic and will actively discourage individuals from booking, playing, and attending shows at this venue.
After learning that a community member was sexually assaulted by someone at The Free Clinic in 2015 and after several other survivors stepped forward in the time since, DITKalamazoo has made it a priority to demonstrate community support for the survivors and to make efforts to ensure that concerns about The Free Clinic are widely communicated.
An attempt was made to hold the accused accountable. Accountability, in this case, would entail
a) admitting to the claims,
b) learning more about the interactions between alcohol and consent and
c) taking steps to ensure his house is a safe(r) space.
This offer was rejected and a survivor has received further threats of violence as a result of speaking out about her experience. Other instances of physical and weapon-related violence have also occurred in this space.
Our intention is not to ostracize or exile anyone, but shed light on how we, as individuals, have the power to take an honest look at ourselves as both survivors and perpetrators of violence and trauma.
If you are friends with the accused, it is important to recognize that people we love are as capable of enacting violence as the ones we dislike. Hold space for any uncertainty you may have, while recognizing that our experiences of violence are inherently valid and cannot go ignored. Recognize that everyone has a right to their experience without denying each other’s trauma. We hope to move forward with a more conscious focus on connecting community members to resources that can help.
YWCA 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline: 269-385-3587
Here’s an article of experiences from survivors in the Portland music scene (tw: descriptions of assault):