Black Rose

Black Rose Policy on Consent and Related Offenses

Overview

Due to recent developments in the community, it is the decision of the Board to enact a specific policy on consent violations. This document replaces and supersedes the existing “Black Rose Policy on Offenses.”

Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall be used:

  1. Reporter – the person who is reporting a consent violation and is alleging harm as a result of the consent violation.
  2. Accused – the person (or persons) who is accused of a consent violation.

Scope of this consent policy

Black Rose consent policy covers all kink and kink social events, even those not explicitly tied to the BR name. Black Rose may consider consent violations that occur at any venue.

Principles of consent

Consent is a topic that is difficult to define. However, for the purposes of this policy, we propose the following principles that can be used as guidelines. In short, consent is the explicit expression made by participating parties defining actions they will have done to themselves or actions they will do to someone else.

  1. Consent is conscious. Consent is the thorough negotiation of the acts taking place
  2. Consent is explicit. Consent is an active acknowledgement of the acts taking place
  3. Consent requires sobriety. Consent should be negotiated up front while all parties are in clear headspace, not under the influence of endorphins or any external substances.
  4. All members must consent to an interaction, regardless of the role they will take
  5. Consent may be withdrawn at any point, regardless of prior negotiations between participating parties, even mid-act

Definitions of a consent violation

If consent has not been obtained for an act that occurs, or if it is withdrawn during an act and that act continues, a consent violation has occurred. It is a violation of consent to perform acts that another person has not consented to

  1. Consent is enthusiastic. Coercing or attempting to coerce someone to do something they don’t want to do is a violation.
  2. Consent is ongoing. Ignoring the withdrawal of consent is a violation.
  3. Consent violations may be emotional or physical in nature.
  4. Consent violations may take time to acknowledge for the person suffering harm, and can be reported at a later date

Reporting consent violations

  1. A consent violation may be verbally reported to any BR staff member if the violation occurs at a BR event. The reporter, or the BR staff member receiving the verbal report, should file a written report with the Board as soon as possible after.
  2. Written consent violations may be submitted directly to the sitting BR board by contacting consent@br.org.
  3. A person wishing to report a violation may submit a written report to any BR staff member. That staff member will be responsible for forwarding the report to the BR Board.
  4. A written report should contain the following information:
    ○ What happened?
    ○ Who did it happen with? The accused should be identified.
    ○ What would be required for the reporter to feel safe in the community?

No Wrong Door

Black Rose staff should familiarize themselves with this policy so that they can assist any person who comes to them. It is critically important for the reporter to be able to communicate with a person they trust, a relationship that the reporter may not have with any Board members. As mentioned in “Reporting consent violations,” if someone reports a consent violation to a BR staff member, that member is responsible for forwarding the report to the Board.

Consent violation adjucation

Once a consent violation has been reported, the Board and any involved BR staff shall follow this procedure.

  1. BR staff will take immediate steps to protect the reporter. This may include, but is not limited to, asking the accused to leave an event, providing the reporter with someone to sit with during class or social time, and/or asking the accused not to further contact the reporter
  2.  The BR board will document the incident, which includes collecting the following statements:
    a. Statement from the reporter. This will include the initial report as well as any addition information the reporter may wish to provide.
    b. Statement from the accused, if appropriate.
    c. Statements from any witnesses, if identified by either the reporter or accused.
  3. The BR Board will discuss the incident during an Executive Session. If the situation requires immediate action by the Board, the discussion should take place as soon as a quorum can be gathered. Otherwise, the discussion will take place at the next Board meeting.
    a. Black Rose will provide mediation services if agreed to by both the reporter and the accused, but Black Rose will not require mediation nor force the reporter to face the accused.
    b. Black Rose will not require the reporter to meet personally with the Board or communicate in any way, other than by submitting the initial report.
    4. The Black Rose Board of Directors will choose a course of action based on the evidence presented.

Actions taken following a consent violation

The BR Board may take the following actions as determined following the discussion.

  1. The Board may take no specific action, and the report considered for informational purposes only. This will usually by done at the reporter’s request.
  2. The Board may recommend further conflict mediation between the reporter and the accused. This mediation is voluntary on the part of the individuals.
  3. A Black Rose board member or designated representative may have a private conversation with the accused to encourage corrective behavior
  4. The Board may give the accused a restricted membership, allowing the accused to attend only certain BR events. This will usually be done in consultation with the reporter.
  5. The Board may suspend the accused’s BR membership for a specified time, if applicable. During this time, the accused may not attend any Black Rose events.
  6. The Board may permanently revoke the accused’s BR membership. If the accused has no membership, the accused may be permanently banned from obtaining one.