Thirty-five years ago, lawmakers didn’t foresee a time in the near future when the entire human population would be interconnected and that “obscure public records,” already a fairly oxymoronic phrase, would become an obsolete one. In the Internet Age, nothing is obscure. Anything “public” is very public.
Being wrongly or falsely run through the court ringer is bad enough; the trauma is lasting. Consequent privations can moreover be life-altering to an extremity.
Consciousness of how public “public records” are today may further incline the wrongly or falsely accused to withdraw and either try to quietly remedy the injustice or conceal its implications.
This post is to urge the abused to appreciate that in the let-it-all-hang-out age we live in, no one really gives a damn except you and the party or parties who wronged you. True, legal impediments (e.g., to employment) are real and unyielding (as are privations like loss of access to home and children). But telling your truth is your constitutional prerogative under the First Amendment, and it cannot be lawfully denied you.
Making that truth convincing is tough. If it’s failed to persuade a judge—or possibly several judges—the everyday Joe or Jane is liable to discount it, too. If, though, you can expose a kernel of the truth, if you can peel back a tissue of lies and reveal even a glimpse of the rot that underlies it, and this enables you to talk openly about what you’ve endured, you may relieve yourself of the burden of shame.
Here is an example of how exposing the truth (just a hint of it) can turn your liability into your accuser’s liability (and that of anyone who abetted him or her). Your “public record” is your accuser’s “public record,” also…and his or her witnesses’…and the judge’s or judges’. A public record is everyone’s.
In circulation today are phrases like slut-shaming and fat-shaming, and the recommended cure to either act is OWN IT. Denial doesn’t work, nor does concealment. Own the source of shame, and you defang it; you sap a bully of his or her power. Instead of protesting you didn’t do something you were accused of, openly admit that you were falsely accused by a lowlife fraud, a fantasist, a kook, and/or a domineering turd (as the case may be).
You may even shift the shame onto the shoulders where it belongs.
Copyright © 2015 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com
*Ownership of violation, namely domestic abuse, is how the women who inspired the legislation of restraining orders turned a source of shame into a source of sympathy and protective impulse. They talked back, and they revised social perspectives. To reverse the excesses of their frenzied successors (or usurpers), the victims of those excesses need to follow their example.