protection order in a tight knit community
November 5, 2018 10:34 AM   Subscribe

My friend has an order of protection against her ex since he beat her up. The arts/music/scene community is pretty tight in my town; is there a template for making sure he knows not to show up at common events, without engaging him more than necessary? Thanks in advance.
posted by ftm to Human Relations (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

this community zine "The Revolution Starts At Home" is an incredible resource
posted by allymusiqua at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

So something similar happened in my tight-knit scene years ago and the guy was just not allowed to come to any public events. The people working the door at these things all knew who he was and he would get asked to leave -- all the venues have a right to refuse service to anyone so it's not like he could demand to be let in. Even for private events, it was made very clear that he wasn't welcome.

The general consensus was that if you hurt someone in the community, you were not longer welcome within it. It didn't take long for the guy to just stop trying to get into shows or events and after a few months ended up leaving town.
posted by ananci at 12:37 PM on November 5, 2018 [10 favorites]

Also, if she has an order of protection that means the dude has been served (notified) of this order so it's not like it should be a big shock that he is not supposed to come near her.
posted by ananci at 12:38 PM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

I just want to point out that ananci's suggested strategy of ostracizing the perpetrator is very much at odds with the philosophy articulated in Lorena's article, which links to this very helpful resource about treating perpetrators like human beings:

The accountability process is much more difficult to execute than the ostracism of a single person, but I personally believe it's much better for our communities in the long run. Our society right now is on the cusp of a mountain of this kind of shit coming to the surface, and it's going to happen first in liberal communities like art & music scenes. If we shun all abusers--even the "verified" ones and not also the alleged ones, which is a whole different conversation--I don't know that we'll be left with any communities at all in ten years.
posted by The Minotaur at 1:27 PM on November 5, 2018

If abusers aren't shunned, and the community is kept out of the loop, and they are given multiple chances, those abusers absolutely go on to abuse more people-- especially newcomers to what seem like safe communities and don't have the necessary information. To that I say HELL NO.

My experience matches ananci's, with abusers absolutely being shunned. Some other scenes I've been in? Packs of women go and find the abusers and beat their asses. That's a grey area for me. But I see no grey area or dilemma whatsoever in barring them 100%. If a scene can't take being ousted of abusers, then it wasn't a good scene to begin with.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 1:42 PM on November 5, 2018 [12 favorites]

To clarify a point I made above: I'm not saying that our communities will fall apart without the contributions of abusers. I'm saying that a policy of banishment is likely to lead to factionalization. This idea is articulated more clearly in the following article than I can do right now:

Also, the guy in ananci's story who left town: he went somewhere. And quite possibly got up to his old shit again. That's not necessarily the responsibility of any given local community, but to the extent that we're all part of overlapping circles of progressively larger communities, one shitty dude becomes everyone's problem to some extent.

I'm not intending to monopolize this thread or to argue with others' experiences, so I'll shut up now. Thanks to everyone for your perspectives.
posted by The Minotaur at 2:02 PM on November 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Not trying to threadsit but honestly just looking for practical advice on how to convey “don’t be at such and such concert.” in a way that doesn’t escalate or bring emotion.
posted by ftm at 3:09 PM on November 5, 2018

This sounds like a legal question based on what the order of protection requires. Is your friend really supposed to tell him "I will be at this concert on Friday night, this grocery store on Saturday morning, this movie theater on Saturday afternoon..." Really? I doubt that survivors have an obligation to inform their abusers of their whereabouts on an ongoing basis. Can your friend contact a lawyer, or whoever helped with the order of protection, and ask about how to deal with this going forward?
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 3:24 PM on November 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

Many of these events are on Facebook in my town. If your friend doesn't mind RSVPing, or having a friend RSVP for her using a dummy account, then the ex can simply see that she'll be present and not go. This works even if they've blocked each other. Not perfect but it's something.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:08 PM on November 5, 2018

The most obvious thing I can think of is to find a mutual friend, one who knows both her and him and has not chosen to dump either of them, who will agree to take it upon themself to relay kindly warnings to the guy. "Lucy is planning on going to the opening at Muratti's on Tuesday..." will save him from booking Tuesday night off work so he can attend. And if it is phrased to him as saving him from disappointment he may be pleased to get the warnings and work around them.

The difficulty is finding such a friend who is still willing to be friends with both of them. The danger is that the friend could turn into the informant for stalking Usually when there is a traumatic break up one person gets all the mutual friends in the split. But this is often because one of the two becomes obsessed with the dead relationship, and people dump the one who is more bitter, as they become painful to hang out with. The third evening where Nate obsessively rants on about Lucy is a when everyone backs away regardless of if Nate was the villain or the victim.So your friend needs to keep her focus on the activities and fun the crowd has together, and not on how she feels about things.

The simplest way of doing this my be for Lucy to use her cell phone. She goes to her regular events. If Nate shows up she makes strong eye contact with him to make sure that he knows she is there but no verbal contact and no following him room to room to try to glare at him. If he does not leave, she goes to the event organizer and tells them that she is about call the police about him breaking the order of protection. This gives them the option to ask him to leave first. However they may, and the cops may tell Lucy that if he arrived first she should be the one to leave. He is quite likely to challenge her in this way, as well as either not noticing her in the crowd or pretending to not notice her. This means the Lucy may find herself showing up early to everything to try to get there before Nate does.
posted by Jane the Brown at 8:26 AM on November 6, 2018

Cops will not tell her if that if he arrived first she should leave, at least in the US. That is not how restraining orders work. It is not on the victim to curtail their activities, it is solely the restrainee’s obligation to remove himself from her presence once known.
posted by ananci at 7:25 PM on November 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

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