The Executive Committee would like to make an official statement regarding the serious allegations of sexual assault against senior members of the group published in the last 48 hours on the public Facebook page for our organisation.The post was deleted by an admin to de-escalate tensions in the comments to the post. This action has since been criticised by a number of our members, and we hear the concerns that are being raised. It is not our intention to silence discussion of assault or abuse that may have occurred at IASPM events, or between our members, and we apologise for any part of the response that made it seem as though we were doing so in this instance. This type of public post was not a situation that had come up before and we had no clear ways of dealing with it available. We recognize that IASPM needs to address the allegations and develop strategies to deal with these types of accusations in a responsible way. We also wish to ensure that our members feel safe, and that there are mechanisms in place to support them if they do not. We acknowledge, however, that it would be remiss to commit to specific plans in relation to these goals quickly or lightly.
As such, we propose to undertake a period of consultation with experts in the field of sexual violence and disclosure of abuse to address these accusations, and develop properly thought out guidelines and procedures for dealing with any such situations in the future. This will also enable us to improve our understanding of what the legal implications might be for the organisation in relation to these matters. We will invite all IASPM branches to participate in planning the new policies.
IASPM is well known for its collegial culture. It is our hope that we can use this moment as an opportunity to ensure that collegiality is as much about taking care for the wellbeing of all members and participants at our events as it is about good scholarship.
More correspondence on this matter will be forthcoming soon.
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.