The Casualties, the well-established street punk band from New York city have recently encountered some controversy. With the veritable glut of personal blogs that are created on a daily basis, it’s surprising that controversies like this don’t happen more often. What is surprising is the source of this controversy, which is a “mommy blog” called Put Your Damn Pants On. Run by a group of mothers, PutYourDamnPantsOn.com feature confessional guest posts that are popular on blogs geared towards women.
In this case, the blogger is a woman named Elizabeth, who describes herself as:
… a recovering scenster 30something stay at home wife and mom. I listen to the Descendents from the comfort of my suburban home while cooking barefoot and pregnant to Bikini Kills Rebel Girl. I may not have it all figured out but im constsntly searching for a balance.
She also goes on to detail a sexual assault she endured around sixteen years ago, from an unnamed leader of a street punk band. The singer is obviously Jorge Herrera from The Casualties, and she writes about the incident:
I am the survivor of a sexual assault at the age of 16 by a man more than 10 years older than me. This man cornered me in a room and tried to force me to perform sexual acts on him, stating he would tell everyone in the van I did it anyway so I might as well. When I fled the room, he chased me down the hall, pinning me against a wall and shoving his hands down every orifice he could find while shoving his mouth over mine to prevent my muffled screams and tears from being heard. When I eventually broke free, I locked myself in an abandoned room until friends came to me. I slept in that room only to be disturbed once by a band member who simply knocked on the door and said, “You don’t have to open the door, just listen. You don’t even have to tell me what happened because I already know and I’m really sorry.” And I’m not sorry if YOU CAN’T HANDLE THAT.
The news has spread quickly on the internet, having been posted on such sites as Reddit. The Casualties have decided to address this issue on their Facebook page, posting the statement below:
Living in the modern age of smartphones and social media it’s easy for information to be shared and spread without any thought to it’s validity. Anyone that is a fan of The Casualties or who knows us personally can confirm we do not support or condone abuse of any kind. While we fully support free speech and free opinion, unfortunately sometimes people can get careless and wrong information gets spread around. The claims are 100% FALSE and we appreciate all of the support we have received from around the world from our friends and fans. We always have and always will be a band that stands for equality, anti-racism, and unity.
The online response has ranged from people not believing the girl to condemning Jorge, and posting comments about similar stories regarding rumors about Jorge’s predatory behaviors. Personally, I think that stories like these can spread on the internet in an unfortunate wildfire-like manner. Without discounting the validity of the woman’s experience and trauma if her recollection is true, the manner in which she revealed the experience is questionable. The event happened sixteen years ago and she chooses to write about it publicly now with anonymity. The accusations are very serious, and there seems to be a better, more private way to have resolved these issues, including contacting the police when the incident first happened.