A Gentleman asked a question about what to do to assist a young lady who stated she was abused in a BDSM context. An answer from Sir Alan follows. I found it very wise. (Quoted with permission.)
Do you have an elder that you can go to with this in your community? Let me define “elder”, I do not mean your munch facilitator, or the big party thrower. I mean someone that has been around your community for a good amount of time, and is known to be impartial in dealing with community affairs.
IF this was me ..and it has been more then once. These are the steps I personally follow.
A: Get a Written statement from the young lady, stating EXACTLY what happened for this to now be “abuse”. if she will do it great, if she won’t ..warning flag. You can only help those that help themselves, walk away.
“Upon further investigation this is not his first act of violence …”
B: In the community or out ? Are you intimately aware of other s-types [submissive types] that have been with him before? How is his relationship with them today? Do they have restraining orders on him? If not , why not ?
C: Make a copy of the statement, modify the second copy of the statement ONLY by blocking out names and take it to the police ..
[Ask them] IS this Domestic Abuse ?
if the answer is YES, then
D: Take it to your village elder, or a vet [veteran of the community] that you know and trust in the scene and let them read the 2nd version of the statement. Get their point of view on the subject.
Let me make this real clear, I am not endorsing creating a Drama-lama. Just double check your facts BEFORE you make a stand. One persons accusations are NOT the truth, the truth is a mixture of she said + he said divided by Common sense.
To those that say:
“the lack of community leaders’ ability to do anything, or local leaders have no authority”
BULL SHYT, [Publically stating your concerns] is a perfect example of what People, not just “leaders” can do to make a difference and make our community a better and safer place. I’ve been active in my community for 10+ years, I don’t consider myself a leader, but I do try and keep my home pond (see: community) safe.
By educating those in our community how to stand up for themselves, [You ARE] doing something.
what’s the old song lyrics; “Even if you decide not to make a choice, you’ve still made a choice” or something like that, you see my point.
Those of us that have been around awhile Know how to get answers, and get things done. I’ve been accused many times for being a “scene cop”, ya know what ..I’m okay with that. I’ve been accused of being a pit bull for those that have been wrongly abused or accused, I’m okay with that. Has it bitten me in the ass more then once? You betcha, but if what I am doing prevents one person from ending up in a barrel … I’m okay with my actions, and I sleep fine at night.
It is now a time when people need to speak up. But remember, abuse goes both ways. In the small communities in which we gather and play, passing on a “rumor” of abuse IS abuse. If it is important enough to accuse (and if it is abuse it IS important enough to accuse) it is important enough to be sure of your facts. If you have not taken the time to Know, shut up.