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Developers sound off after abuse accusations

People across the industry offer support to victims, perspective and calls to action for the rest of their peers

On Monday, Tetrageddon Games developer Nathalie Lawhead published a post on their site saying that they had been raped by Skyrim composer Jeremy Soule. Their stated goal in coming forward was just to get the story in the public space "so other women can be informed," but Lawhead coming forward inspired a number of others in the industry to do the same with their own stories of harassment and/or abuse.

Each of those stories requires care and time to report properly, and we are considering how best to cover them, both individually as well as part of a larger story the industry has been dealing with (or not, as the case may be) for years. In the meantime, there have been plenty of people throughout the industry speaking up to offer support, insight, and perspective for their peers.

"Coming forward about abuse is incredibly difficult and terrifying," said GameSpot reviews editor Kallie Plagge, who went public with her own story of harassment at IGN two years ago. "I support everyone sharing their stories. I stand with you and I hope you make it through this process as painlessly as possible."

While many people applauded those who named their accusers, Microsoft creative director Laralyn McWilliams emphasized that people who have been victimized are under no obligation to follow suit.

"You own your experiences, though, and it's YOUR choice to speak, stay silent, or only share what happened in private circles," she said. "Don't feel guilty if you choose not to put yourself or your career in jeopardy. Only you can really assess what it would risk for you to speak out."

McWilliams suggested people unsure about speaking out should confide in someone trustworthy first, to get the perspective of articulating their experience to another person before taking further action. She also advised taking a break from the internet to relax and "seek out whatever centers you."

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