The NCSF conducted an exploratory Consent Survey to find out what kinky people think about consent in a BDSM context. With over 4,000 responses on all of the questions, the survey returned useful information on power exchange relationships, the concept of risk, and respondents’ attitudes about consent that went into the formation of NCSF’s draft Consent Statement, which will be launched on February 8, 2013.
In the survey, NCSF found that 1 in 3 kinky people had their pre-negotiated limits violated and/or their safeword ignored. This typically occurs in the first 5 years that someone gets involved in the scene. This result shows there is a real need for more education about consent violations and how to keep them from happening.
“We need to educate new members of the kink communities much better because they are the ones experiencing consent violations,” says Race Bannon, Social Media Director for NCSF. “We also need to educate law enforcement on how to distinguish BDSM from assault because 1 in 5 people know someone in their local area who was arrested for BDSM-related behavior.”
To respond to this need, and to requests from groups and events for guidance on consent issues, NCSF has launched its Guide for Groups. The Guide for Groups includes a suggested consent policy, how to deal with consent violations that take place at a group or event, and advice on how to revoke membership or entry to an event without liability.
NCSF also created two new FAQs designed to educate kinky people on what is assault and what to do if you are assaulted. Is This Assault? explains which consent violations may rise to the level of assault, while Dealing With Assault answers many of the common questions kinky survivors have about reporting assault to law enforcement, medical or social service professionals.
Under NCSF’s Consent Counts Project, you can also find hotlines for kink aware victim services associated with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects that are ready to help kinky victims of assault and abuse. And there is a wallet-card that explains BDSM vs. Abuse in terms of consent to help you explain BDSM to law enforcement and social services.
NCSF is committed to working with the BDSM-Leather-Fetish communities on a wide range of issues dealing with consent through its Consent Counts Project with the long-term goal to decriminalize BDSM.