Alec Holowka Dies Days After Abuse Allegations


Alec Holowka Dies Just Days After Abuse Allegations From Zoe Quinn Surface on Twitter

Last week, we reported that Zoe Quinn accused Alec Holowka of abusing her during their relationship. She described his behavior as “mean and violent” and claimed he had essentially trapped her in his apartment for nearly a month. After their relationship ended, he allegedly blacklisted her from industry events. On August 31st Holowka’s sister, Eileen Holowka, reported his death. She Tweeted, “Alec Holowka, my brother and best friend, passed away this morning.”

Cause of Death

Alec Holowka via Winnipeg Free Press
Alec Holowka

image via Winnipeg Free Press

No one has reported an official cause of death, but Eileen’s Tweet implies Alec took his own life. After Quinn’s allegations, the Night in the Woods team cut ties with him and cancelled the new game he was working on. Eileen wrote, “We tried our best to support Alec, but in the end he felt he lost too much.” 

As well as support from family and friends, Alec also sought help from Manitoba crisis services after Quinn posted her accusations online.

Alec Holowka’s Journey

In Eileen’s post, she said she believes abuse survivors, and revealed that Alec was also a survivor of abuse. To be clear, she did not dispute Quinn’s claims. She wrote, “I will not pretend that he was not also responsible for causing harm, but deep down he was a person who wanted only to offer people care and kindness.”

She added that prior to Quinn’s accusations, Alec had been making strides toward becoming a better person. That he was actively working through his mental illness with therapy and medication. “Alec became a new person,” she said.

The Reaction

Neither Zoe Quinn nor the Night in the Woods team has made official statements regarding Alec’s death. However, the reaction on Twitter has been pretty extreme, from people on both “sides.” People attacking Quinn forced her to delete her Twitter account. Eileen Holowka locked her account because of the comments people were making. It stirred a debate in the community about blame and the effectiveness of movements like #MeToo. Some people are saying how abusers react to being called out is not the responsibility of the victim, while others are calling Quinn a murderer. It’s really messy.

This is what is called a lose-lose situation. No one came out of this whole fiasco feeling better. I hope everyone involved finds some sense of peace and that the community can have a healthier debate about abuse in all its forms.

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