Twisted Tryst Consent Procedures:
Twisted Tryst has decided to heavily base our consent incident policy on NCSF's writing Incident Reporting and Response REALLY heavily. But this page don't cover who will be doing what, so these are the Consent Procedures specific to Twisted Tryst.
Please report an incident to any Board member or the Manager On Duty (MOD). All of them have been through training on the NCSF Guide. If you are not comfortable with reporting to the MOD or to the Board, the consent backup group is Hufflepup/PlaySmart.
How to find those people: The MOD is always on radio, so find anyone with a radio - including a taxi driver - and ask them to get you a MOD, or a board member, or a member of the consent backup group of PlaySmart. You don't have to say why, and if they ask, it's okay to say "I just need the MOD/Board/PlaySmart, please."
If you are not comfortable with any certain individual - including a member of the board - being involved in the process of gathering information, you may ask that they be removed from the inquiry, and that request will be honored.
DEALING WITH CONSENT INCIDENTS
Our intention is to deal with any consent incidents on a case-by-case basis. We will try to keep in mind that limits can be violated deliberately, or through poor communication, misunderstandings, technical accidents, lack of knowledge, and/or lack of experience.
Here are some things we will do if there is a consent incident:
1. If there is an injury that requires medical care, we will offer to have a staff member take them to the hospital or call 911, if an emergency.
2. If someone wants to report the incident to the police, we will have them call 911 or offer to take them along with a friend to the police station. If a staff member is in attendance with the police, we will not express our views on what has occurred nor discuss the incident except to (a) respond to medical questions about the person’s injury and (b) to answer —factually and truthfully— police questions.
3. If no emergency care is requested, two staff members will speak individually to the person reporting the consent incident, as well as to anyone directly involved and any witnesses to what happened. (two people listening will improve the chances of everyone being heard in a way which is as un-biased as possible.)
4. We will record names and contact information for everyone involved in the consent incident.
5. When we talk to each person individually, we will ask them what happened and what they would like to have happen now.
6. We will also ask the following questions to try to listen for both consistencies and differences between accounts:
What did you negotiate?
What were your limits?
Did the bottom safeword or withdraw consent?
Is there anything that might negate consent such as impaired thinking or a mental health issue?
What is the history of interaction between the participants?
How much experience do those involved have with the BDSM activities that were done?
Was there an injury done that exceeded the negotiated limits?
7. Whether a consent incident happens at Twisted Tryst or if we receive a report about a member from another community organizer, the following are some things we intend to consider when trying to determine if further action from us is warranted:
Seriousness - If the act involved physically injury, especially if they had to get medical care, then camp attendees are at a higher risk and there is a higher liability risk to camp.
Intent - Was the act done deliberately or was it an accident, misunderstanding, miscommunication, a lack of skills or knowledge? If manipulation, coercion or maliciousness is involved, we understand there is a higher risk of it happening again.
Multiple Accusations - When someone is involved in multiple consent incidents, we understand they are a higher risk. Often a similar pattern emerges in the activities or circumstances. (according to NCSF: Of over 4,500 people who responded to the Consent Violations Survey, only ½ of 1% said they had been falsely accused two or more times.)
Police reports and Restraining Orders - There is a serious penalty for filing a false police report, so it rarely happens. If there has been a police report made, we will take it very seriously.
Confession - People sometimes publicly accept responsibility for violating someone’s limits or safeword. We do not encourage or discourage these types of public communications, although we understand they may help an individual make reparations. We are cautious of apologies laced with excuses or justifications.
8. We will not suggest that everyone involved get together to discuss the incident. If the person reporting the incident would like mediation for a minor consent incident, we will only do so if the person who committed the act is eager to apologize and rectify the situation.
9. We will provide someone (Manager on Duty or MOD) and two groups of people the board, and the consent backup group who are empowered to make an immediate decision, even though the ultimate decision will be made by the board at a later date. We are committed to taking into account what the person reporting the consent incident would like to have happen.
Immediate actions may be contacting emergency services if needed, and/or providing a place out of public view for the involved parties if they want privacy, and/or gathering resources to begin an inquiry immediately if the reporter is ready to tell their side.
Even if a board member does not participate in the investigation at the request of a participant, the board is ultimately responsible for final decisions. If the incident being reported is against a board member, well, let's be honest, of course that will be a giant painful mess for everyone, but we absolutely need and want to know, and it will absolutely be investigated as impartially as possible.
10. Depending on the severity of the offense, we may do nothing, issue a warning, apply sanctions, or ban someone.
NCSF's document on sanctions suggests that sanctions may be handled publicly or privately. However, Twisted Tryst will handle all sanctions privately. The person(s) reporting the incident and the person(s) being reported about will always be informed of the final decision. Other people interviewed as part of the investigation may or may not be informed of the final decision.
The only time a public statement will be made is if someone posts something which the board feels is both inaccurate and important to be corrected, then the board may post a statement clarifying findings or decisions, but will make every attempt to preserve the privacy of those who wish to retain it.
Twisted Tryst is committed to educating members about safety and consent, so the first level of dealing with someone involved in a consent incident is education. This is particularly true for newbies.
When a rule is broken during an event, we will attempt to provide education or enforce consequences immediately, depending on the seriousness of the infraction. We are committed to treating staff and volunteers and board members the same way we treat members who are involved in consent incidents.
WARNINGS: we may give a private warning to a member who is involved in a consent incident. Depending on the severity of the consent incident, here are some additional options:
1. We may implement a strike system to be used for minor consent incidents during the education process, although no strike system is currently in place.
2. We may request that someone take consent and negotiation workshops before they can return.
3. We may put someone on a watch list and let them know that DMs will be watching their public play and/or listening in on their negotiations.
4. We may ask someone to leave the event, to avoid an area of the event, or to avoid contact with specified person(s).
5. We may keep someone from presenting.
6. We may remove a volunteer from a staff position or position of authority.
7. We may suspend someone’s ability to attend Twisted Tryst for a set number of camps if we believe a time-out will help get a message across.
NCSF states the following about banning: A group or private event can refuse attendance or membership to anyone for any reason or no reason, and ban anyone for any behavior that violates the group’s consent policy whether or not the incident took place at your event.
1. NCSF recommends: State on your membership application or entry form that your group/event reserves the right to refuse membership for any reason.
-- Very well, then: Twisted Tryst hereby states that we reserve the right to refuse entry to Twisted Tryst for any reason.
2. NCSF recommends: For liability reasons, we suggest that you don’t give a reason why you are refusing membership because then the group might be brought into court to prove it. The best thing to say is, “We’re sorry, but you can’t belong to our group,” or “We’re sorry but we no longer feel you’re a good fit for our group.”
-- Very well, then: Twisted Tryst reserves the right not to give a reason why we are refusing entry to anyone.
3. NCSF recommends: For cases where you feel you have to give a reason, don’t bring in another person’s name or state any allegations of criminal acts as factual events. You can say: “It’s been reported to us that you’ve committed a consent violation that goes against our Consent Policy.”
-- Very well, then: Twisted Tryst will not present allegations of criminal acts as factual.
4. NCSF recommends: If you run a public event such as a munch or bar night, you can request that someone be removed from the meeting area. However, the owner may allow that person to stay elsewhere on the premises.
-- Well, this one doesn't fit our setting very well. For Twisted Tryst, if someone is banned from a Twisted Tryst event, they are also not welcome anywhere on the grounds during the event.