Ben Hopkins, a member of the queer punk duo PWR BTTM, was accused of sexual assault last night in a closed Facebook group. A member of the group alleged that Hopkins is a “known sexual predator, perpetrator of multiple assaults” and recommended that members of the local DIY community not allow PWR BTTM in venues with safe spaces policies.
In addition, the user uploaded a photo of Hopkins posing next to a swastika drawn in the sand that was taken in 2011. Hopkins already addressed the photo on Twitter when it started circulating in December of last year. A Twitter user with the handle @_mcampnh screenshot the allegations and tweeted them out.
The tweet has been circulating all night, and now Hopkins has addressed the accusations in a statement on Facebook:
Ben and Liv here. We want to respond to some very serious allegations that have been made against Ben. The allegations come as a surprise, but we are trying to address them with openness and accountability. With respect to the image included with these allegations, Ben previously addressed this matter on their/the band’s Twitter in January (https://ibb.co/dsNRRQ).
Unfortunately we live in a culture which trivializes and normalizes violations of consent. There are people who have violated others’ consent and do not know. Ben has not been contacted by any survivor(s) of abuse. These allegations are shocking to us and we take them very seriously. Further, the alleged behavior is not representative of who Ben is and the manner in which they try to conduct themselves.
To address this matter head on, we have set up an email address through which a survivor or someone working directly with a survivor can discuss the allegations being expressed on social media: [email protected] We are currently looking for a mediator with the necessary qualifications. This will be the only person with access to the account. Ben does not have access to the account, for two reasons: 1) because we acknowledge that certain individuals will not feel comfortable establishing a direct communication link between themselves and Ben, and 2) to protect Ben in the event that a malicious party attempts to use the address for anything but its intended purpose.
Our primary goal here is to ensure that a survivor of abuse has a voice, that their story should be heard and that people who cross the line should be held accountable. What this means for the band, our album, our fans and our upcoming tours is, as of yet, unclear. Music is everything to us, but we feel strongly that this matter needs to be addressed first. Updates forthcoming.
UPDATE (5/12): Details of an alleged assault by PWR BTTM’s Ben Hopkins have emerged.