Exposing Hart Noecker
Hart Noecker is a Portland, Oregon based activist who has raped at least one person, sexually assaulted others, and manipulated, emotionally abused, and sexually coerced many more.
This statement has been submitted directly to the Willamette Week as a Letter to the Editor. Feel free to boost and share.
January 22nd, 2015
STATEMENT FROM THE SURVIVORS IN RESPONSE TO THE WILLAMETTE WEEK ARTICLE ON HART NOECKER, "PURGED":
The survivors are issuing a response due to false information in the Willamette Week article, specifically in regards to the number and severity of assaults perpetrated by Hart Noecker. The amount of space dedicated to detailing Hart's supposed leadership, along with the omission of the majority of interviews from survivors, is unbalanced and misleading. Lastly, the Willamette Week misled the survivors in regards to the nature of what would be published.
Ten individuals publicly self-identified as survivors at the first community accountability meeting on January 6th.
All survivors indicated baseline emotional abuse and sexual coercion. Seven spoke of emotional abuse and sexual coercion in great detail. Five indicated sexual assault.
Two, including Byrd Jasper, indicated rape.
Many more individuals have spoken up online, though they have not yet come out publicly in community forums. Aaron Mesh has spoken with the majority of the survivors who attended the first community meeting, as well as with a number of the individuals who have not yet publicly come forward.
The scope of the allegations is, by our estimates, that approximately 20 people have spoken out in person or online in confidence about experiences of sexual, physical, and emotional violence at the hands of Hart Noecker. We are currently aware of allegations stretching back as far as four years.
We understand that legally the Willamette Week is, at this juncture, unwilling to speak about our experiences in detail, and that it is only because Byrd Jasper has met with a domestic violence detective that they have given Byrd's story the light that it deserves. However, the way in which this article is written implies that Byrd is the only person with "severe" allegations. Aaron Mesh, at least, knows for a fact that this is not so.
It has been implied that this publication is planning a series of articles about this situation, and that additional survivor stories may be discussed in upcoming pieces. However, the following statement is blatantly false: "[o]nly Jasper described what, if true, would amount to sexual assault." While Mr. Mesh may not be comfortable relaying our stories due to legal concerns or other rationalizations, he knows—and the Willamette Week knows—that many of the allegations against Hart Noecker absolutely involve sexual assault.
We as survivors have been forthcoming in sharing our experiences and our community processes with the Willamette Week because we feel strongly about the work that we have been doing in healing each other, and in working with the community to help develop better practices to deal with predatory behavior. It is our opinion that this story is sensationalistic and biased. We can only guess at why the Willamette Week has chosen to write it this way, especially in light of the fact that they have a number of survivor stories in their arsenal for future publications. The potential for "drama" is high.
What is clear is that we the survivors must publicly state that the Willamette Week's portrayal of our community processes is incomplete, and that the deliberate omission of our stories in conjunction with the statement that none of the experiences of other survivors amounted to sexual assault is not an accurate representation of our experiences, nor an accurate representation of what has been publicly revealed at community meetings. Furthermore, this article does not reflect the content of our conversations with Mr. Mesh.
We have also learned that one of your reporters was present at our first community accountability meeting, at which media was specifically asked to not be present. A statement to that effect was given at the beginning of the meeting. Refusal to respect this request, to us, illustrates a huge breach of trust and integrity. This makes it doubly upsetting and suspicious that even with a reporter secretly bearing witness to the multiple experiences of assault shared during that meeting, this article still goes on to allege that "[o]nly Jasper described what, if true, would amount to sexual assault," a statement which is a total falsity.
We the survivors were politely informed that this story was going to be written, with or without our input. As such, we have graciously and courageously given our input, further revealing our vulnerable, painful experiences in what is already a tremendously trying time for us.
We also feel strongly about speaking clearly about the fact that there is a thoughtful community process happening here around these tragic circumstances. We are participating in this community process to advance practices of survivor respect and support, community accountability, and the dismantling of rape culture throughout all of society.
While we are not naïve, and we anticipated the fact that the media would cherry pick language and detail, we are dismayed by these breaches of our trust and the falsification of information, and do not endorse this article. We ask that the Willamette Week write an article giving as much attention and care to the stories of the survivors and their role in our community as they gave to Hart Noecker.
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