Los Angeles-based post hardcore band Violitt have unveiled a new single/video in the form of “Don’t Let Them In,” a sonic rager released in honor of domestic violence awareness month and in partnership with iGotOut. Driven by lead vocalist and founding member Summer Cooke’s piercing howls, with Greg Karas on guitar and co-writer/producer Justus Dixon on bass and synths, the song is meant to be a “whistelblower’s anthem” and a “survivor’s ballad” according to Cooke. Filled with all the caucaphonus hallmarks of their dark-wave industrial sound, “Don’t Let Them In” bristles in warning against coercive control, high demand groups, domestic violence, and psychological abuse.
The music video for the song features the faces of women and men that had the courage to share their stories and bring awareness to these issues. Some of these include people seen in documentaries like “The Vow” and “Seduced,” the latter which featured activist Kelly Thiel, whom Cooke connected with to be creative consultant for the video.
The creation of “Don’t Let Them In” resonated deeply with Cooke, reminding her of a vulnerable time in her life. It spurned a desire to create a song that fully realized the ethos she had when she founded Violitt: to use music as a means of advocacy and liberation. Part of that advocacy is attempts to educate people on the blindspots we have as a society, such as high demand groups and coercive control, terms many people might be unfamiliar with and as a result not recognize.
“High demand groups and coercive control is something that goes under the radar so easily. Especially in Los Angeles. Most often, these spaces are claiming light, empowerment, growth, and love, however, on the inside it is a different story,” Cooke explains. “There is a lot of abuse happening, weaponizing new thought language/ and even spiritual language to control their participants, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, etc. You are then put into extreme demand to recruit under the guise of empowering the world. The abuse is very nuanced and often most people don’t recognize what is actually happening to them. There is a lot of shame placed upon participants if they question the groups methodology.”
California SB-1141 makes coercive control illegal in the state including harassment, gaslighting, financial abuse, intimidation, and more. But alongside laws there is a necessity for community involvement, to ensure people can recognize these incidents and reach out to people who otherwise cannot leave of their own volition.
“There are so many people who battle in silence due to psychological abuse and coercive control. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, sex, education, etc. When someone is mentally taken advantage of, it is an extremely isolating feeling,” Cooke continues. “When you can no longer trust your own mind due to psychological abuse, when you no longer feel safe within your own skin, it is one of the most devastating experiences. A majority of people don’t make it out and many don’t know what exactly is happening to them.”
Listen to Violitt’s new single “Don’t Let Them In” below!