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GAZA faces rape controversy [UPDATE]

GAZA vocalist Jon Parkins has been accused by a Tublr user called “amindfullofyou” of raping her while she slept on September 15th. Jon has responded to the allegation. Read about it below.

UPDATE: See the update below.

Below is the full post accusing Jon of rape:

 On the night of September 15th, Jon Jefferson Parkin, the vocalist of the SLC based band GAZA raped me while I was asleep.

Long story short, Jon was trying to date me and we were hanging out. I was feeling ill but felt compelled (read: manipulated) to stick around even though I had long decided I wasn’t interested in him earlier in the night (I figured out he was just fronting his social justice shit for cool radical punk points). After telling Jon “no” multiple times throughout the night, I finally got fed up of him trying and said, “Its not going to happen.”
“What?” he said as if he were clueless, “sex?”
“Yeah.” He said it was fine and said something along the lines of sex not being the only reason we were hanging out. I trusted him because we had talked pretty extensively about rape and consent before this night and he knew I planned the SlutWalk in Boise. So I went to sleep and he did too. We weren’t cuddling, opposite sides of the bed. I woke up 2 hours later from a dead sleep to him thrusting inside me. I was half asleep and thought it was a dream for about 30 seconds before I realized what was going on.

As soon as I was awake I knew I was being raped. I told him to stop and tried to push him away. My skirt and underwear were off (I have no memory of this). I curled up into a ball, violently shaking. “What’s wrong, don’t feel good?” “Yeah… thats it” I replied coldly. Then I said, “You can’t just start shit with people who are asleep”. Thats when he got really fucking scary. He was cowering over me (if you’ve never seen him, he’s HUGE, well over 6 feet) and said “what the fuck are you accusing me of?” I decided that trying to argue/fight him would probably end up in physical pain or being raped further so I deescalated the situation and told him to go back to sleep, which he did. After I worked up the courage I jumped up, grabbed what clothes I could find (didn’t manage to find my underwear) and ran the fuck out of there, and screamed back at him not to follow me. He did, as I was driving away I saw him running toward my car with my coat. I stopped the car, ran to grab the coat from his hand, and ran back to my car. He chased after me and slipped his hand in the door before I could close it and pried it out of my hands. He stood there screaming at me, and refused to let go of the car door. I told him that he raped me. He was furious. I told him to get the fuck away from me, to let go of my car, to leave me alone, and he kept saying “lets talk about it now” or “what the fuck are you accusing me of”. Finally, another guy overheard our screaming match and came over and said “what the fuck is going on over here?” I screamed back, “this fucking guy won’t leave me alone, let me go!” Jon turned toward him and let go of the car and I slammed the door and drove the fuck away.

He called me about 5 minutes later and tried to convince me that he didn’t rape me. He claimed that he asked me if it was okay and that I said yes. I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO MEMORY OF THIS EVENT. He didn’t fuck ask me anything. Even if I did in theory say yes in a sleep stupor, guess what? I WAS ASLEEP. SLEEPING PEOPLE CANNOT CONSENT. When I told this to him, he replied, “how was I supposed to know if you were awake or not.” “exactly!” I said, “thats why you don’t initiate sex with people who are dead asleep! because you have no way of knowing if they’re awake or not!” He didn’t care. He sent me a text later saying that he was sorry for any “misunderstanding”.

Its not a fucking misunderstanding, Jon. Having sex with people while they’re asleep is rape. He raped me.

I want to put him through an accountability process that involves Jon:
A) apologizing both publicly and through a letter for raping me,
B) reading and understanding books and zines about consent and rape and
C) quitting Gaza until he deals with his shit

Rapists shouldn’t be allowed to exist in the hardcore/punk scene. Don’t support Gaza until they either kick Jon out, or Jon goes through the accountability process outlined above.
There are a few things you can do to support me. Spread this around far and wide. Tell your friends who go to shows to be wary of him. (He met me when I was tabling for my zine distro at one of his shows). Don’t support Gaza. Don’t book shows for them. Don’t buy their merch. Don’t support a band who’s front man claims to be all about social justice but is actually a rapist. Let Gaza know that you won’t support their band until Jon leaves or goes through an accountability process. Here is their facebook and tumblr.

If you’re going to be a rape apologist and say that what happened wasn’t rape, just stop now. I don’t want to hear it. I know I was raped, and I don’t give a fuck what you say.

If you’ve been raped by Jon before, please send me a message. I would love to hear others experiences.

The band responded:

We have worked hard to establish a good reputation for almost ten years now and we’re not about to let an errant accusation unravel that. For those quick to judge, I ask how you would feel if you were forced to face such an accusation? There is no perfect way to handle this, but we’re going to take every measure to preserve the most important thing we’ve created in that time; our reputation. We take this very seriously. The last sentence in Jon’s statement is one that cannot be stressed enough.

From Jon:

“Let me first say that this rape allegation is entirely untrue. Throwing this sort of accusation up on the internet is reckless and completely slanderous. Two of my very close friends have been raped and it was devastating to watch them go through the recovery process, one of which I spent a summer helping through counseling. I went with her to the clinic to get her AIDS test results. Rape infuriates me, and I never see red like I do when I hear about it. This is not a subject or an accusation I take lightly. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I could never and would never force myself on anybody.

I’m sorry that you all have to be part of this drama, but this has to be addressed. This mess in no way has anything to do with the band and I’m sorry for the other members as this is a black mark on us that is undeserved and untrue. Women’s rights and all forms of social justice are causes we champion. I would encourage this person as well as any other who feel they have been assaulted to go immediately to the police.”

UPDATE  – the alleged victim has posted the following message on Tumblr:

In respect to the incident aforementioned on my blog; both parties have mutually agreed on a resolution for this matter. I have agreed to delete all mentions and posts about this incident from my blog, and I will refrain from posting about this incident again.
Neither of us are retracting our respective statements— instead we are deciding to not discuss it further and move on. This agreement means I will be unable to answer questions about this. I want to apologize to Gaza as a whole, my intention never was to damper the reputation or musical careers of the members, and I apologize to them. I apologize for involving the band in accusations and handling it poorly in a way that influences the members of Gaza and other well intentioned people involved with their career and music. Both of us would like people not to disparage either party and move on.

This is the last thing I will post about the incident.

PUBLISHED on January 16, 2013.
UPDATED on January 18, 2013 – another statement added.

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