The following is a handout prepared by The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom aimed at educating law enforcement on the realities of SM.
The purpose of this handout is to provide law enforcement with a basic level of understanding about adults whose sexuality and lovemaking includes consensual sadomasochistic (SM) activities, and to provide information to assist you when you encounter an SM event.
Swing Groups & Law Enforcement: Group Issues
It is important for swing groups and businesses to have an understanding of the relationship between the swing community and law enforcement, as well as the numerous legalities that can effect group functions. Once this is accomplished, your group can dispel myths, educate members, and constructively interact with law enforcement as the need arises. This presentation will focus on three aspects:
- interacting with local law enforcement,
- avoiding legal trouble, and
- group considerations.
Approaching Your Local Authorities
The purpose of this presentation is to educate law enforcement, prosecutors, or other authorities about SM-Leather- Fetish and/or swing practices on behalf of a local group(s). NCSF's goal in presenting this material is to help local group(s) to develop a positive relationship with their local authorities. The contents and delivery method of the outreach presentation are designed on a case-by-case basis. We suggest that local groups work together when presenting info
to local officials.
PDF Coming Soon
Zoning for SM & Swing Groups and Businesses
Zoning and permit issues are commonly used as a tool of local governments when seeking a method to attack SM groups and businesses. Typical "crimes" such as indecent exposure, lewd conduct, and the like are subject to interpretation by the police, prosecutor, and courts. Successful prosecution is
certainly possible but not guaranteed. Zoning and permit violations tend to be very cut and dry comparatively. For this reason, administrative issues are frequently used as tools to either move or shut down SM activities.
It is important for our community to have an understanding of these administrative rules in order to safely organize and maintain SM activities and functions. Zoning and permits vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This discussion will attempt address these issues in a general, overview
fashion. The attendees will benefit from the experiences of the panelists who have all dealt with legal and/or scene?related administrative issues.
There are numerous licensing, zoning, and permit requirements at all levels of government ? federal, state, regional, county and city. It's not easy to determine what licenses and permits you'll need, but it's very important. You should thoroughly research this issue if your SM organization or business may come under the scrutiny of law enforcement or local authorities. If you ignore these issues, you may face expenses and hassles you hadn't anticipated, and certainly don't desire.
Administrative (zoning, permit, and license) requirements can affect where you locate your organization or business, limit or require some remodeling, whether or not you'll have to provide off? street parking, whether you can serve alcohol, whether you can charge admission at the door, etc. If requirements are too restrictive you might decide to avoid the hassle and move to another jurisdiction ? if you find one that has fewer restrictions. Each jurisdiction has its own system of licensing, zoning, and permits. Obviously, it's impossible to provide a comprehensive list of every permit and license in every jurisdiction, so we must address items in general.
PDF coming soon
The Alleged Domestic Violence Call
It is important for SM/leather/fetish persons to have an understanding of the relationship between the SM community and law enforcement and of the numerous legal issues that can effect us ? specifically the law enforcement response to an alleged domestic violence call. Once this is accomplished, we can constructively interact with law enforcement if the need arises. This presentation will focus on two aspects of this relationship ? constructively dealing with officers and avoiding legal trouble. This workshop does not go in depth about the "cycle of abuse" or "real/actual" domestic violence, rather it is about consensual SM being misinterpreted as domestic violence by law enforcement. The discussion is designed to include the following sub?topics:
- Our attitudes towards law enforcement
- The attitudes of law enforcement toward the SM community and SM activities
- Reasons for law enforcement to take action against a SM activities
- Effective interaction with law enforcement
- Society's domestic violence concern
- The alleged domestic call
- Things SM persons should do
- Things SM persons could do
The law is a complex and ever?evolving system and has a long way to go before it takes all alternative lifestyles into consideration. In the meantime, we need to be as familiar with the law and of law enforcement as we can be. Utilizing our knowledge, people skills, and common sense, we can hopefully avoid becoming victimized by the society we live in.
PDF Coming Soon
SM Groups & Law Enforcement: Group Issues
It is important for SM/leather/fetish groups to have an understanding of the relationship between the SM community and law enforcement and of the numerous legalities that can effect their group functions. Once this is accomplished, the group can dispel myths, educate its members, and constructively interact with law enforcement as the need arises.
This presentation will focus on three aspects:
(1) creating a good relationship with local law enforcement,
(2) avoiding legal trouble, and
(3) local considerations.
The law is a complex and ever?evolving system. Its intent is to safeguard all the members of our society. However, it has a long way to go before it takes all alternative lifestyles into consideration. Eventually we will get there, but, in the meantime, we need to be as familiar with the law and law enforcement as we can be. Utilizing our knowledge, people skills, and common sense, we can hopefully avoid becoming victimized by the society we live in.
Law Enforcement Field Guide to SM
The purpose of this brochure is to provide law enforcement with a basic level of understanding about adults whose sexuality and lovemaking includes consensual sadomasochistic (SM) activities, and to provide information to assist you when you encounter an SM event.
How You Can Help
- Work to change antiquated laws
- Work to change the social climate about sexual issues
- Promote acceptance of safe, sane, and consensual alternative sexual practices among consenting adults
- Oppose censorship of consensual sexual expression
- Fight for freedom of academic expression about sexual issues
- Help communities and individuals facing the threat of prosecution or legal action
- Support the right of adults to express their sexuality, gender identity and orientation freely and openly without fear
- Learn more about NCSF
Why You Should Care
- Can result in discrimination, prosecution, and even violence against you
- Can cause you to lose your children
- Can cause you to lose your job or your income
- Can lead you into a maze of antiquated laws and regulations you never even knew existed
- Is arbitrarily criminalized by state and local authorities
- Is used by the radical right to marginalize minority groups
- Can result in the invasion of your privacy by the government, both within your own home or in educational, social and group environments