Your Rights. Your Privacy. Your Freedom.

2020 Incident Reporting & Response Report


By Susan Wright, Director of Incident Reporting & Response

There were 126 reports and requests for help received by NCSF’s Incident Reporting & Response program in 2020 compared to 183 in 2019. This drop is likely due to the pandemic and lack of events that took place in the last three quarters of 2020. There were 32 criminal-related reports and 20 requests from groups involving consent.

Here are the yearly stats for reports and requests NCSF has received:

  • 126 in 2020
  • 183 in 2019
  • 279 in 2018
  • 170 in 2017
  • 109 in 2016
  • 198 in 2015
  • 184 in 2014

NCSF maintains the confidentiality of those who come to us for help, however we balance that with the need to report the services we are providing and to provide the community with a record of where the need is the greatest. Here is a breakdown of the cases the IRR Team dealt with in 2020:


40 people made reports & requested assistance, nearly the same as the 39 reports in 2019:

  • 25 reports came from people who were assaulted, sexually assaulted, stalked, harassed, threatened, blackmailed, required a restraining order, and/or reporting the sex offender status of someone
  • 7 people requested resources and referrals for attorneys to assist in defending themselves against criminal charges or a restraining order
  • 4 legal professionals needed referrals for expert witnesses on BDSM
  • 3 reports involved sex work
  • 1 report involved public BDSM behavior


36 groups, events and businesses requested assistance or a member requested assistance with their group. That’s down from the 75 reports in 2019:

  • 11 groups were asking about presenters/organizers or reporting they had banned someone
  • 9 groups asked for resources on dealing with a consent incident or proactively creating a consent policy and what to say publicly about them
  • 4 groups were dealing with incorporation and zoning 
  • 3 groups needed media crisis assistance
  • 3 individuals needed assistance in dealing with group bans or sanctions
  • 2 groups were dealing with venue/hotel problems
  • 2 groups inquired about the SBA “prurient” exclusion, leading to NCSF publishing The Check Box: We are not prurient
  • 1 group needed resources in dealing with harassment
  • 1 event needed info about obscenity law


There were 22 requests about kink and non-monogamy compared to 32 in 2019:

  • 8 people were looking for a kink or polyamory aware therapist or mediator
  • 8 professionals needed information on kink, consent, a KAP trauma-support group, BDSM as therapy, and/or virtual platforms groups and businesses are using
  • 4 students needed information on educational groups or research data on non-monogamy and kink/child custody 
  • 1 professional needed referrals to journalists to write an article about persecution they experienced
  • 1 person needed resources to deal with a mental health institution


16 requests for assistance in civil issues compared to 21 in 2019:

  • 6 people reported being sued for defamation or in small claims court or were called as a witness in a defamation case  
  • 4 people faced job discrimination over kink
  • 4 people reported being outed (1 using FetLife photos) 
  • 1 person reported being defamed
  • 1 business was ordered to cease operating for zoning reasons

Child Custody & Divorce

12 people requested help with child custody cases compared to 16 in 2019. Half involved a parent who engaged in consensual non-monogamy:

  • 6 involved kink (2 with FetLife photos)
  • 3 involved kink and non-monogamy
  • 3 involved non-monogamy

Year by year comparison for Child Custody reports:

  •      16 in 2019
  • 30 in 2018
  • 27 in 2017
  • 16 in 2016
  • 26 in 2015
  • 37 in 2014