Four months have passed since Rebekah Parmar, known momonymously as Rebekah, spoke out against famous DJs who posted warm tributes in the wake of Erick Morillo‘s death. She has now shared details of her own experiences of sexual misconduct in the industry, as well as the triumphs of her recently launched #ForTheMusic campaign.
Rebekah (full name Rebekah Parmar) touched on her origins in music in an interview with Annabel Ross for The Guardian, recounting that she asked if a record store had any jobs at the age of 17 and was met with the reply, “Yeah, you can give me a blowjob.” She said that not long after that incident, she was raped by an acquaintance who agreed to teach her how to mix records.
By age 21, Parmar had begun touring internationally. She suspects that a promoter in Eastern Europe snuck into her hotel room and sexually assaulted her while she slept; she ran into him in another country where she says he attempted to coerce her into sex.
“It makes me look stupid, knowing he possibly did the first assault to go back and put myself in that position,” Parmar said. “This is where, as a young DJ, I was kind of ruthless because I would do whatever, when I had my eyes on something, at the cost of myself.”
Parmar said she received messages from women who shared similar experiences following her post about Morillo, who was scheduled to appear in court for a sexual battery case three days after his death. She started #ForTheMusic a few weeks later. Thus far, her efforts have resulted in the Association for Electronic Music developing a nightlife code of conduct that outlines how to identify, prevent and report sexual misconduct as well as gender discrimination.
“Can we live with ourselves, to keep bringing more women [DJs and producers] in knowing that this is going on?” Parmar’s interview closed out. “I can’t, and I think we’re really strong now. This is like an army. That has to speak volumes.”