We stand with the women and girls who have shared their stories concerning Nahko’s abuse of power, manipulation of women for sexual gain and alleged sexual assaults. We also want to be clear that drawing the line at criminalized abuse or rape, and otherwise looking the other way, contributes to the normalization of all forms of sexual violence.
To any survivors or allies who were upset by our past relationship with Nahko, we are sorry. When we asked him to join us on our Summer 2018 tour, we had not heard any accounts of sexual misconduct or abuse and naively correlated his commitment to activism as equivalent to upstanding behavior that we would be proud to have on the road with us. Once on tour, we saw red flags but did not witness or hear any accounts of violence. Over the past year and a half we started to hear rumblings of his past harmful behaviors and privately decided to stop working with him.
We are grateful to the women and girls who have persistently spoken up through the years only to be actively silenced by Facebook group moderators and others. We have in the past and will continue to quietly refuse to work with any band, artist, festival, or individual known to be part of cultures where sexual abuse can hide in the open. But we only speak out here publicly with the explicit consent or call to action from those who were harmed by Nahko. To speak out without the input or leadership of those harmed is another form of taking someone’s power away and can put a survivor at risk for further harm from the abuser or new victim-blaming and -shaming harassers.
Last week, we heard these women and girls speaking loudly, and are taking the following steps:
1. Asking Nahko here, and through private outreach to him and his team, to respond meaningfully to each of these harrowing accounts.
2. Asking other artists, promoters, talent buyers and those in decision-making positions to not work with Nahko until he meets the forthcoming demands of survivors speaking out and organizing.
3. Continuing our commitment to Calling All Crows’ #HereForTheMusic campaign, including training our band/crew to be advocates, running a hotline to get confidential trauma-informed help at all of our shows, asking venues/festivals to provide their anti-harassment policies and send staff to our training and inviting fans to come to training with us and/or learn about intervention strategies through educational out-reach at our shows.
4. Drafting new internal guidelines for all of our business relationships and a code of conduct for our band/crew on tour and do our best to not provide a platform for someone who is perpetuating sexual violence, benefit from the platform of someone who perpetuates sexual violence, or, most importantly, put our fans and crew at risk by inviting people into the spaces we foster who have a known pattern of abuse.
We’ve been working in this industry for a while now; over the course of our career, and especially in the last few years through our partnership with the #HereForTheMusic campaign, we’ve been on an eye-opening journey to peel back the layers of power and abuse that permit sexual violence to be committed. We will continue listening, learning, self-reflecting, and speaking out and are grateful to all of you who are on this journey with us.
And again to those who have been hurt by Nahko, we are deeply sorry for the trauma you’ve endured.
Please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 if you or a loved one needs help processing these traumas or your own past traumas they may be triggered by these accounts. You are not alone.