Kink-Collective Event Community Conduct Policy
The intent behind creating a formal complaint process is to maintain a healthy, ethically conscious, and safe community for all members in the kink community who join us at Kink-Collective events and gatherings. Should the intent of these rules be contradicted by their execution the administrators retain the right to change or revoke them at any time.
The following are the most pressing concerns of this process in descending order of priority:
Empowerment – Empower individuals and the community to respond to toxic and predatory behaviors occurring both inside and outside of Kink-Collective public forums and events
Privacy – Maintain as much of each individual’s privacy as possible whether they are the submitter or the recipient of a complaint. Justice and Fairness – Preventing this process from being used to harass or unfairly attack members.
Awareness – To raise individual and community awareness of toxic and predatory behaviors.
Growth – To allow individuals, and through them the community, to acknowledge and recover from any incidents.
Kink-Collective is committed to maintaining a culture of consent. A consent culture is one in which the prevailing narrative of sex–in fact, of human interaction–is centered around mutual consent. It is a culture with an abhorrence of forcing anyone into anything, a respect for the absolute necessity of bodily autonomy, a culture that believes that a person is always the best judge of their own wants and needs.
At Kink-Collective events, please be aware that all interactions are to be centered around mutual consent. Nobody is required to interact with anyone else in any way unless they choose to. To that end, please make sure all interactions, from conversations to sexual activity, are enthusiastically consented to by all parties involved. The best way to ensure that people consent is to ask them.
Members are encouraged to center interactions outside of Kink-Collective events around enthusiastic mutual consent. Though the setting is a relevant consideration, ethical obligations do not terminate outside of official events, and all members are expected to maintain high ethical standards in all interactions, both at Kink-Collective events and outside of official events.
The following activities are encouraged among members, provided that all participants enthusiastically consent:
Making new friends
Sex (whatever that may mean to the individuals involved)
Responsible (and legal) drug or alcohol use
Clearly communicating boundaries
Clearly communicating desires
The following activities are discouraged in both in-person and online interactions:
Harassment or intimidation
Maliciously or intentionally making another person uncomfortable
Bigotry, including any discrimination or insult on the basis of race, gender expression, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, ethnicity, disability, body size, age, physical appearance, or relationship style
Intentionally/knowingly triggering others
Uncivil criticism of others’ relationship style or philosophy
Failing to take “no” for an answer
Continuously requesting interactions after being turned down
Disruption of others’ activities
Non-incidental touching without permission
Emotional, verbal, or physical abuse
Threats or other attempts at coercion
Photography or recording without permission
Assault, sexual or otherwise
Anything illegal or otherwise unethical
Process – Complaints may be submitted to any Kink-Collective administrator (or their representative) at any time by email. Please include all relevant information including time, place, involved parties, witnesses, type of offense, willingness to discuss with accused, and any evidence (photos, chat logs, witnesses, etc.) that exist.
Administrator Assessment – All complaints will be assessed by an administrator for credibility, severity, and evidentiary backing prior to taking any actions. All determinations of credibility will bear in mind that those victims of trauma often have difficulty accurately recalling details of their experiences, but also that abusers often claim to be abused in an effort to isolate their victims. If an administrator has questions or requires support for a complaint they will privately contact the submitter before taking any actions or making any determinations. All discussions with a complaint submitter shall be held with respect and compassion.
No Penalty – members are encouraged to inform the community about all behavior that could present a danger to the community. Unless a person is found to be abusing the process, there is never a penalty for making a complaint, even if no action is taken or the complaint is deemed trivial. All reports, regardless of the administrator’s assessment, will be taken seriously and recorded.
Privacy – all complaints will be kept private unless the submitter consents to a public release. All victims of harassment, predatory behavior, or abuse may publicly inform the community of any dangerous behavior. However, that decision is entirely in the hands of the victim and the victim’s decision will be respected at all times.
Non-exclusive Remedy – this policy is meant to provide an option to victims of harassment, predatory behavior, or abuse who desire community support. All victims are encouraged to, instead of or in addition to this procedure, use their own judgment about whether to publicly name their harasser/abuser or pursue legal options.
Mediation Option – Rather than go through the complaint process, any submitter may instead, at the submitter’s option, be referred to mediation. A neutral mediator will be sought by the Administrators to help amicably resolve the situation. All parties will retain the option to file a complaint if mediation is unsuccessful.
Presumption of Innocence – All subjects of complaints will be presumed to be innocent until such time that sufficient facts are gathered to establish guilt.
Suspensions Pending Investigation – At the discretion of the admins, subjects of complaints may be suspended from participation in group activities while complaints are investigated. A suspension does not imply guilt, and all subjects retain their presumption of innocence.
Complaint Severity and Culpability Levels:
Purpose: a person is considered to have acted purposefully when the harm done was the conscious goal of the actor. When a person takes an action with the explicit goal of causing harm, their mental state is considered purposeful.
Knowledge: a person is considered to have acted knowingly when they were aware that their actions would almost certainly cause harm, but such harm was not their conscious goal. When a person takes an action that they know will cause harm, their mental state is considered knowledgeable.
Recklessness: a person is considered to have acted recklessly when they acted in conscious and unreasonable disregard of a known risk. A person is reckless when they are aware that their actions have a substantial risk of causing harm, and such risk is unreasonable under the circumstances.
Negligence: a person is considered to have acted negligently when they took an unreasonable risk that they should have known about, but were not consciously aware of. Where a person is unaware that their actions pose an unreasonable risk of causing harm, but they should have known the risk, their mental state is negligent.
Minor complaints – Complaints that do not involve issues of public concern, are not physically threatening in any way, and could reasonably be resolved with direct communication. Culpability must be at least negligent. Example of Minor offenses:
- Problem with an opinion.
- Aggressive (but civil) discussion.
- Private relationship issue
First offense: Minor complaints will be logged, but action will only be taken at the administrators’ discretion. Most of the time, no action will be required.
Major complaints – Something that wouldn’t be acceptable in our public spaces but fails to be a direct consent violation. Culpability must be at least reckless. Example of Major offenses:
- Blatant harassment including racism, sexism, genderism, etc.
- Uncivil discussion, name-calling, or personal attacks.
- A single instance of stalking behavior like shadowing, cornering, and pressing disclosed boundaries.
- Making a public space emotionally unsafe for others
First offense: private warning
Second offense: public warning
Third offense: ban from Kink-Collective events, public announcement. Additional offenses may result in expulsion from Kink-Collective, at the discretion of the administrators
Severe complaints – Includes breaking consent, any direct ethical violation that causes no lasting/serious harm. Culpability must be at least reckless. Examples of Severe offenses:
- Breaches of Consent including coercion, unwelcome physical contact, violation of reasonable personal boundaries, etc.
- Extreme harassment including racism, sexism, discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, etc.
- Physically/emotionally abusive behavior(s.
- Making a public space physically unsafe for others.
First offense: public warning
Second offense: investigation by neutral 3rd party; if sustained, ban from Kink-Collective events; public announcement; Suspension pending investigation
Third offense: Expulsion from Kink-Collective events; public announcement
Extreme complaints – These complaints indicate a potential for serious/lasting harm to an individual. Culpability must be knowing or purposeful. Examples of Extreme offenses:
- Any harmful non consensual physical contact.
- Dangerous, extreme, or extended predatory behavior including physical stalking, digital harassment, and/or threatening behavior.
First offense: investigation by a neutral 3rd party; if sustained, expulsion from KInk-Collective and a public announcement. Suspension pending investigation for any credible complain
Responding to Complaints:
Public Apologies – If a member has been banned from [group name] events, that ban may be lifted by issuing a public statement of responsibility/apology. Additional credible complaints after the ban has been lifted will result in the ban being reinstated.
Public apology must include:
- The nature of the addressed complaint but not the details.
- A path forward that repairs this breach with the community.
- Extreme complaints cannot be addressed by public apology.
Public Apologies must meet the following criteria:
- Apologies should not cause additional harm to the victim, accused, or unnecessarily dramatize the event(s).
- Apologies should include taking full responsibility for the breach with the community as well as a plan to repair it.
- All apologies will be reviewed by an admin and the complaint submitter before release.
In order to encourage victims of harassment, predatory behavior, and abuse to make reports, the identity of the submitter of a complaint will never be revealed without the submitter’s consent. Admins (or whoever investigates) will make reasonable efforts to ensure that all complaints are credible, and to allow room for the recipient of the complaint to dispute the facts of the matter and the severity of the complaint. The higher the severity of the complaint, the more effort will be made to ensure that both sides are heard and treated fairly. It will ultimately be up to the administrator/investigator to resolve any disputes and to judge the credibility of the parties. The burden of proof shall be the preponderance of the evidence.
No action stronger than a private warning will be taken against any member unless the following steps have been taken:
- The member has been informed of all factual allegations against them, in sufficient detail such that a reasonable person would be able to identify the situation and describe what happened from their perspective
- Undisputed facts have been identified and communicated to all parties
- Disputed facts have been identified, any submitted evidence has been reviewed, credibility determinations have been made, and all factual findings have been communicated to all parties.
If the complaint submitter’s wishes for privacy make the above steps impossible, the complaint submitter’s privacy will be protected, and no action will be taken against the subject.
The Following Types of Complaints Will Receive Additional Scrutiny:
- Multiple complaints from the same person
- Multiple complaints that are clearly coordinated or otherwise indicative of a group ganging up against an individual
- Complaints during or following a breakup
- Mutual and/or retaliatory complaints
- Complaints made a substantial amount of time after the fact
Reinstatement – any lifting of bans or reinstating memberships is at the discretion of the administrators, and will only be done after conferring with the submitter of any complaints which justified the original ban and an assessment that the member does not pose a significant danger to the community.
**This is a constant work in progress. This rough draft is meant as a starting point for us at Kink-Collective to start dealing with predatory and toxic behavior in a more transparent and structured fashion. This Document will change over time, as we strive to make it more accessible to other communities/groups/promoters for their own use.
For any newcomers, please take a moment to give THIS a read. It is a great tool to help avoid situations like described above.
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