The purpose of this presentation is to acquaint members of the alternative lifestyle communities with issues that may arise from the nature of their relationships both during life as well as in the event of death or disability. Many of us are involved in dedicated relationships outside of the traditional man-woman 2.3 kids marriage. We acquire property together – we incur liabilities together, and we often fail to acknowledge that sooner or later, be it by going our separate ways, or death or disability, each and every one of these relationships will end. The purpose of this presentation is to address some of the issues and problems that we might encounter, and help prepare for them. PDF Coming Soon
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. Download the PDF
The purpose of this material is to assist SM/Leather/Fetish groups who are considering hosting an alternative lifestyle event. The goal in presenting this material is to assist in developing a positive relationship with local hospitality venues. Download the pdf
Choosing a lawyer can be difficult, especially if you have to do it at the time you are arrested. If at all possible, establishing a working relationship with an attorney whom you trust before the need for an attorney arises, is obviously the most desired and beneficial route. The lawyer you decide to retain should be compatible with your personality and manner of handling pressure. Find someone you can talk with and trust. Schedule a preliminary interview and have several questions prepared. (See sample questions below) Choosing a lawyer simply because he or she understands or is sympathetic to alternative sexual expression may lead to later dissatisfaction. Lawyers should be selected for their expertise and experience in specific categories of cases. You can always contact the NCSF, and if we know of lawyers in your area, we will refer you to them. There is also a website that lists, by state, kink friendly lawyers, and other professionals. The website may be accessed through the following link www.ncsfreedom.org/kap. PDF Coming Soon
Police Interactions ? What to do when you deal with police Your basic legal rights and responsibilities may not always be clearly defined by law enforcement officials. If stopped or detained, politely ask the police officer “why” in a manner that is not confrontational. Remember, your priority should be to alleviate or minimize the potential charges and/or use of excessive force against you. In some states, there are no clear statutes or laws which delineate the use of deadly force by law enforcement officials. In theses instances, the courts will decide, on a case-by-case basis, what is considered deadly or excessive force. Download the pdf
Juvenile/CPS/Child Services for BDSM Parents The concerns that result from contact with local and state child welfare authorities are occasionally troublesome for members of the SM/leather/fetish/poly communities. It is often difficult to accept the necessity of interacting with child/protective services and child/family services workers. Such persons are often empowered to make independent judgments that have a direct impact on family relations and personal freedom. This presentation provides a structure for acting in accordance with the best interests of your children and with due regard for your civil rights and the rights of others. Download the pdf.
Child Custody & Divorce: Considerations for Alternative Lifestyles The problems that arise in child custody disputes between spouses and partners create special concerns for members of the SM/leather/fetish/poly communities. In addition to the general tribulations that arise with privacy and personal security, these issues also require difficult decisions at a time of great stress. These choices often require making priority assessments between personal and family considerations. This presentation provides a framework for evaluating choices and seeking advice and counsel. Download the pdf
Doing SM Related Legal Research The law is interpreted – sometimes to our favor, and sometimes not. For example, while the NCSF firmly believes that consensual SM activity between adults is legal, there are those that have a differing opinion and will intentionally interpret the law in an unfavorable way. Therefore, it is extremely important for the SM- Leather-Fetish communities to have an understanding of the laws that may affect us. Knowing relevant laws will greatly assist our communities in safely organizing and maintaining SM-Leather-Fetish activities and functions. There are numerous laws, ordinances, and regulations at all levels of government - federal, state, regional, county and city. It's not easy to locate all of the laws that may affect us, but it's very important. You should make every attempt to thoroughly research your laws if your activities may come under the scrutiny of law enforcement or local authorities. In addition, NCSF recommends that thorough legal research should include consultation with a knowledgeable attorney, state Attorney General, local prosecutor, or other legal authority, familiar with the current interpretation of the law for the jurisdiction in question. Obviously, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of every law and its interpretation for every jurisdiction, so this material is designed to give the reader a basic understanding of legal research and the tools to get started. Download the pdf
Protecting Your Event There are many considerations organizers must contend with when planning a large event. Large events include educational and social conferences, leather contests, weekend play parties, vendor markets, swing events and club run0s. In light of recent attacks by religious and political extremists, here are some suggested guidelines for protecting your event and attendees.
Protecting Yourself Legally Members of the SM/leather/fetish communities have always had some level of concern regarding the issues of privacy, discretion, and personal security. The Radical Right, employers, ex-partners, and others may pose threats to these concepts. Many times their motivation comes from ignorance, but new motivations like custody of children, and revenge are also becoming commonplace. This presentation provides tips for protecting yourself legally for various circumstances. Download the pdf.
Traveling With Toys While there have always been security issues involved in travel, the current political climate, as well as new legislation, has changed the procedures used to achieve security, as well as changing the allowable items to be carried with the traveler. Security measures have been heightened as never before - to the point of creating a legal risk to individuals who practice alternative sexual expression for traveling with items that are commonplace for us. This presentation will address these issues and provide tips for traveling with toys. Download the pdf
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
NCSF’s Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Phoenix, Arizona from February 8-10, 2013. The Consent Summit took place Friday evening, and Coalition Partners were able to participate via streaming video to give their input on the new Consent Statement. Go to www.ncsfreedom.org to see the Consent Statement and comment on it. “The Consent Statement…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE National Coalition for Sexual Freedom NCSF Survey on Consent The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) wants to hear from you! Please take our Consent Counts survey and tell us what you think about consent: www.ncsfreedom.org/survey.html As part of decriminalizing BDSM in the legal codes, we need to be able to articulate a clear definition of consent that the BDSM communities believe in. The results of this…
NCSF Launches the Next Chapter for Consent Counts February 27, 2012 The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) announces two new publications as part of its nationwide campaign, Consent Counts. The Consent Counts Project was launched by the BDSM-leather-fetish communities in 2006 to decriminalize consensual BDSM in U.S. law by ensuring that consent will be recognized as a defense to criminal charges brought under assault laws and other statutes. "For…
Our BDSM communities could be adversely impacted by a well-intentioned, but overly broad, piece of proposed criminal legislation that has been introduced by Senator Christine Kehoe in the California Senate. NCSF is asking all of you to sign and send to NCSF letters (a draft is attached below) that we can introduce if necessary at a hearing likely to be held in April, 2011. The purpose of the bill, SB…
In an indictment rendered by a Grand Jury in the Western District of Missouri on September 9, 2010, five Missouri men allegedly participated in torturing a mentally disabled woman online or in person over a multi-year period when the victim was between the ages of 16 and 24. Among the charges are: Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud or Coercion, Forced Labor Trafficking, Transportation for Sexual Activity, and Conspiracy. The allegations…
Developed Educational Programs and Outreach Materials
Built Alliances With Sexual Freedom Advocacy Groups
About Consent Counts
NCSF is leading a major national campaign—Consent Counts—to change the laws and police practices that our communities now endure, and to establish that consent is available as a defense in criminal BDSM prosecutions.
BDSM is prosecuted as assault in the U.S., even when it is consensual.
No state or appellate court has allowed consent as a defense to assault in BDSM cases.
Consent Counts is a nationwide project to decriminalize consensual BDSM.
Program Goals: Consent Counts is a nationwide project to decriminalize consensual BDSM through education, advocacy, legal actions and lobbying.