WIA Statement Regarding Ethical Journalism and the #MeToo Movement

The Women in Archaeology unequivocally support the survivors of harassment and assault within the archaeology community and the community at large.  We denounce the ongoing inappropriate actions of Michael Balter towards survivors and those who would criticize his methods.  He notes in his blog that his methods are aggressive when it comes to being an advocate, but his actions have shown him to be a bully and a hypocrite.  He is not an advocate of #MeToo, but a self-centered individual who would use the painful experiences of others to further his own agenda.  We understand that he has aided survivors of sexual harassment and assault in the past and we do not wish to invalidate their experience with him.  It is more than possible for abusers to help those seeking support, while simultaneously harming others.  Consequently, the assistance he has provided to some does not absolve him of responsibility for his abusive actions towards others.

He has severely compromised his journalistic integrity by outing survivors without their permission, calling for the harassment of his detractors, and by publishing private communications of survivors, again without their permission. As suggested by fellow archaeologists, we recommend reporting his blog through https://www.blogger.com/report or https://wordpress.com/support/report-blogs/. We also recommend unfollowing any account associated with Balter and refrain from using his Twitter handle or associated hashtags. 

If you are a victim of harassment and/or assault, there are a number of organizations that can help you, such as the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline (RAINN; 800-656-HOPE) or LeanIn.org. If you are in need of support, please do not hesitate from contacting the Women in Archaeology through Twitter or via email (womeninarchaeology@gmail.com) –we are here for you and will help link you to a variety resources.

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