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Incident Response

NCSF's Incident Response was created to provide assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities. If you engage in SM, fetish, swing or polyamory practices, and are being persecuted or discriminated against because of it, please contact NCSF. If your group or business is being harassed by religious political extremists or if you need help doing outreach to your local law enforcement, please contact NCSF.

For more information about NCSF's Incident Response,  please see "Incident Response Overview 

2011 Incident Reporting & Response Program Report In 2012, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) again took the lead in defending the rights of individuals and groups in the SM-leather-fetish, swing and polyamory communities. NCSF's coalition of over 60 educational and social groups is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF received 474 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. More than half required more than one contact/response to resolve, often requiring multiple contacts. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but some evolved into much larger projects. It is difficult to categorize many incident requests as clearly falling into one camp or another. Many overlap in categories. For example, many of our custody/divorce related issues involve at least 2 of our core constituent groups (i.e. SM/leather/fetish and poly for example). In trying to do a statistical breakdown of the requests, we placed it in the category it most clearly matched. 137 were requests regarding SM/abuse/domestic violence/assault issues including criminal complaints regarding consent and protective orders 76 were regarding criminal complaint issues 14 were regarding employment discrimination 87 were regarding child custody/divorce issues 77 were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues 19 were classed as non-employment discrimination 41 were related to swing community issues 23 were classed as “other”   Of the inquires, the majority were driven by SM/leather/fetish related issues. However, due to the ongoing outreach and work NCSF has been doin in the swing community, we have seen an increase in requests for help from swing interests - primarly swing business establishments.  2012 saw a trend continue with an increased number of requests around criminal and domestic violence or SM/abuse related issues. NCSF had contact with more than 35 attorneys representing defendants in criminal cases. In addition, we worked with more than 40 district attorneys and prosecutors related to SM issues.  The vast majority of these criminal cases revolved around domestic abuse or consensual sex/play issues.. Our Community Discussion Guide on Consent, along with the Legal and Community Support components of our Consent Counts program hopes to help address the issues regarding consent we have both in and out of our communities. We continue to receive a number of requests for assistance from groups, businesses, and other support organizations who want information about how to operate legally, do law enforcement outreach, file for non-profit…
2011 Incident Reporting & Response Program Report In 2011, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) again took the lead in defending the rights of individuals and groups in the SM-leather-fetish, swing and polyamory communities. NCSF's coalition of over 40 educational and social groups is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF received 630 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. More than half required more than one contact/response to resolve, often requiring multiple contacts. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but some evolved into much larger projects. It is difficult to categorize many incident requests as clearly falling into one camp or another. Many overlap in categories. For example, many of our custody/divorce related issues involve at least 2 of our core constituent groups (i.e. SM/leather/fetish and poly for example). In trying to do a statistical breakdown of the requests, we placed it in the category it most clearly matched. 112 were requests regarding SM/abuse/domestic violence/assault issues including criminal complaints regarding consent and protective orders 135 were regarding criminal complaint issues 27 were regarding employment discrimination 115 were regarding child custody/divorce issues 154 were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues 9 were classed as non-employment discrimination 29 were related to swing community issues 49 were classed as “other”   Of the inquires, 87% were driven by SM/leather/fetish issues, 7% by swing, 5% by poly, 1% by other. 2011 saw a trend continue with an increased number of requests around criminal and domestic violence or SM/abuse related issues. NCSF had contact with more than 40 attorneys representing defendants in criminal cases. In addition, we worked with more than 30 district attorneys and prosecutors related to SM issues.  The vast majority of these criminal cases revolved around domestic abuse or consensual sex/play issues.. Our Community Discussion Guide on Consent, along with the Legal and Community Support components of our Consent Counts program hopes to help address the issues regarding consent we have both in and out of our communities. We continue to receive a number of requests for assistance from groups, businesses, and other support organizations who want information about how to operate legally, do law enforcement outreach, file for non-profit status, deal with the media or the press, do hotel/event outreach, or do research around zoning or other legal…
Incident Response Program? 2010 Report Submitted by Leigha Fleming____________________________________________________________ In 2010, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) again took the lead in defending the rights of individuals and groups in the SM?leather?fetish, swing and polyamory communities. NCSF's coalition of over 40 educational and social groups is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF's Incident Response team is directed by Director Leigha Fleming. In total, over 482 individuals, groups, attorneys, prosecutors, and businesses contacted NCSF for help in 2009. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but some evolved into much larger projects. ? NCSF received 526 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. ? 307 required more than one contact/response to resolve, often requiring multiple contacts. It is difficult to categorize many incident requests as clearly falling into one camp or another. Many overlap in categories. For example, many of our custody/divorce related issues involve at least 2 of our core constituent groups (i.e. SM/leather/fetish and poly for example). In trying to do a statistical breakdown of the requests, we placed it in the category it most clearly matched. ? 9% or 47 were requests regarding SM/ Incident Response Program 2010 Report Submitted by Leigha Fleming   In 2010, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) again took the lead in defending the rights of individuals and groups in the SM,leather,fetish, swing and polyamory communities. NCSF's coalition of over 40 educational and social groups is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF's Incident Response team is directed by Director Leigha Fleming. In total, over 482 individuals, groups, attorneys, prosecutors, and businesses contacted NCSF for help in 2009. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but some evolved into much larger projects. NCSF received 526 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. 307 required more than one contact/response to resolve, often requiring multiple contacts.   It is difficult to categorize many incident requests as clearly falling into one camp or another. Many overlap in categories. For example, many of our custody/divorce related issues involve at least 2 of our core constituent groups (i.e. SM/leather/fetish and poly for example). In trying to do a statistical breakdown of the requests,…
Back in June, 2008, we had set up a great private party for swingers. The plan was to have it at a local bar, the owner was going to close it for just our group. Lots of us had plans on eating dinner at the fine-dining restaurant above the bar, and many had rooms reserved in the hotel. The owner knew what type of group we were, and had no problems in having us.   Shortly before the party, the local Borough Council President 'found out' about the party and contacted the local paper. Next thing we know, the paper comes out on Wednesday, we're on the front page. The party was set for Saturday night. Now, most Swingers want complete anonymity, and it was rumored that the media would be there "in disguise" mingling thru the party and possibly some waiting for us to arrive. So, we felt it necessary to cancel our party to protect our guests.   The NCSF Incident Response team found out what had happened, contacted the local paper and helped them understand what we were trying to do, and how this affects us. My husband and I (as the party hosts) were unable to have any reply in the paper due to their demand that our names be published if they published our letter. Without the NCSF, there would have been no one to stand up for us and to speak on our behalf, and for that, we are so thankful to them! Thanks again you guys! You're wonderful!   ~Name withheld by request
When we applied for a street fair permit for an outdoor leather festival, we were met with tremendous opposition from a very vocal member of the local community board, implying that Leather people belong behind closed doors and out of the public eye where children and others could see them. Not knowing how to handle this, I immediately contacted the NCSF for their help in this matter. After speaking with Susan Wright at the NCSF, I was more than armed with important information and a long list of our rights, feeling ready to face not only the community board but the local press with confidence and knowledge.   Because of a ten minute conversation the NCSF, not only were we awarded the street fair permit for the event, but the community board voted unanimously in our favor. In addition, the NCSF made sure they were on hand at the Leather weekend, meeting with the media, making sure we came off looking good in the public light.   Our event could not have happened without the experience and support of the NCSF and we are very thankful an organization such as this exists.   Robert Valin Executive Producer New York Leather Weekend  
As Director of one of the largest BDSM/Fetish educational events in the country - The Floating World, I have had numerous occasions to work with people from NCSF in assuring the event goes off with minimal friction. They have offered invaluable advice on dealing with municipal authorities and have been very helpful in dealing with an always-prying media. Susan Wright of NCSF has been our media relations expert from the beginning, and has done wonders in keeping us out of the media circus spotlight.   One particular case was when a reporter from The Star Ledger newspaper decided our event was excellent human interest material, even though we explained clearly that we wanted no press. Susan spent much time on the phone and in person with this very determined reporter and managed to expertly turn the focus away from us. She did her best to get the story canceled, but when the Editor wouldn't have it she did excellent damage control, injecting positive elements into the story and delaying the release of the article until AFTER our event, avoiding a flood of curiosity seekers and other media looking for their own stories.   What could have easily been a media disaster became a manageable issue, and her help meant I could focus on keeping the event on track and protecting the privacy of our attendees.   Dan Andersen, Director - The Floating World Edison, NJ 
Planning a larger kink event like Winter Wickedness is stressful enough, without adding in efforts to shut it down by the Radical Right. Although we recognized an effort such as this is largely based on misinformation and people’s fear of the unknown, we had invested significant amounts of time, effort and capitol, and were unwilling to be swayed by biased attempts to cancel the event.   With two weeks left before opening day, we heard that a local Christian radio station had done an inflammatory story on our event. Subsequently, the host hotel began receiving a smattering of calls from the listeners demanding the event’s cancellation. We initially contacted the NCSF to consult with their specialists as a preparatory step, in case this was picked up by the mainstream media.   A week later, the Radical Right had discovered their efforts were not producing the desired effect. They stepped it up and began contacting the mainstream media, the local authorities, including the health dept, the fire marshal, the local police dept, etc – in an effort to bring more pressure. We again reached out to the NCSF, which had Susan on the case, and Robin coming in for the event. Between the coordination of the Action Alert e-mails, Robin on the ground as the local media spokesperson, Susan keeping the heat on, and calling in to offer the media another voice – we had the NCSF as an invaluable ally in maintaining our sexual freedoms.   Although what it is that we do (WIITWD) is legal, safe, sane and consensual and had been given the go ahead by the local and state authorities; the radical right’s sensationalism, grassroots efforts and pointed innuendos implying inappropriate behavior, can create enough fear to jeopardize a venue. The NCSF has proven to us, beyond any doubt, that they are willing and able to fight back the bias and discriminatory efforts against us. The NCSF is a valuable asset to the Kink, Leather, GLBT and Alt Sex lifestyles. Adventures In Sexuality (AIS) is proud to be an NCSF Coalition Partner and will continue to bring the NCSF to all our events.   Barak & Sheba Owners – Adventures In Sexuality Adventures In Sexuality
Every year, Leather SINS produces two national BDSM events in Chicago: Kinky Kollege and SINSations in Leather. Ever since the Concerned Women for America attacked five Midwest BDSM conferences in 2002, Leather SINS has consulted with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom to ensure that our events would not face the same problems if we were attacked by religious political extremists.   Leather SINS has consulted with NCSF about a variety of issues while producing our events. We asked Susan Wright to accept the position as our media spokesperson, posting her phone number on our website so she can respond instantly to any media inquiries. Susan checks every page of our website for each event, looking for statements and phrases that may need clarification or may possibly cause problems if taken out of context by the media.   Leather SINS has gratefully named NCSF as one of our "WE CARE!" charities (along with LA&M). We're proud to be a Coalition Partner of NCSF, and would urge any group to take advantage of NCSF's knowledgeable Incident Response program consultants when producing an event.    In leather heart and soul, Master Z Leather SINS President & Event Director 
Susan Wright of NCSF held the positions of Public Relations Director and Media Spokesperson for TES Fest 08, a 700-person weekend event over the 2008 July 4th weekend hosted at the Radisson Hotel in Piscataway NJ. This TES event, like the previous one, had the challenge of establishing a working relationship with a new venue and a new town. Susan continued to be a great ambassador for us as she met with the hotel, police and fire departments and did a spectacular job with helping us to forge a new set of relationships. She also, along with her vast resources at NCSF, helped research all relevant laws in the new town we were in to ensure that our event was in total legal compliance. In particular, she also performed admirably at-event in interfacing with the local law enforcement personnel which we hired as auxiliary security staff. We owe Susan a hearty "Thank You" for a series of 4 TES Fest's that were trouble free!   -Jeff Director, TES Association Executive Director, TES Fest 08
Susan Wright of NCSF has helped Paddles, the BDSM nightclub here in NYC, tremendously in the various issues we have encountered over the last few years involving all applicable laws/policies and interfacing with the local community. With NCSF's resources and her own years of expertise, she has worked diligently with us to research the health code regulations in NYC and how they affect an alternative sexuality nightclub such as ours. She has also done extensive work with us towards the goal of the city removing and/or amending its "anti-sex club" policies which has created an environment which makes it challenging for Paddles, a legal BDSM nightclub establishment, to operate in. She has also helped us understand and stay in compliance with all other regulations that would affect a club such as ours. Susan is a great asset to have "on our side" who is always available to lend us assistance. Thanks for all the help, Susan! -Jeff. Manager, Paddles
For over a year now, Folsom Street Events has been under attack by anti-gay and religious right groups from across the country. The attacks have been relentless. They have threatened our major sponsorships, picketed our events, called upon public officials to denounce us, and rallied their troops against our community. As a small organization with only two staff members, we do not have the capacity to stand up and respond to these continuing assaults. We contacted the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom to access the Incident Response program. Within hours, we spoke with a highly trained and knowledgeable media and PR consultant for support. In addition to her moral support, we received a meticulous training for our Board of Directors and staff, preparing us to better manage these attacks. Also, the program consultant was able to field all media inquiries - and serve as a positive voice for our community - during our events, so that we could focus on our production duties. We can't thank NCSF enough for their good work and for being there when we needed them. Demetri Moshoyannis Executive Director Folsom Street Events  
My relationship with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) began like many others do. I was neck deep in a conflict that was based in my free expression of my sexuality through my writing. I was asked to leave my teaching position, an agreement was reached and I left quietly without creating a scene. I used to teach in a small, private school in North Carolina, where my daughter also attended school. When I left my teaching position I was assured that it would not affect her last and final year of middle school. Months passed, and we were within days of her returning to the 8th grade when I received a call from the Head of School that he had decided to rescind his offer to allow her to go to school there. After heated debate, he agreed that she could attend school, but if and only if I could secure a $1,000.00 expense fee to cover her field trips and lunches in advance. It was a bullshit fee, to be honest. It’s not required of any other parent. He knew that we would not be able to come up with $1,000 in a matter of days. This was his way of keeping her out without risking litigation. So I wondered what led this man, elder in his church, who had given me his word that my child would be unaffected, to suddenly revoke something that we had agreed upon? He said that based on an email to my husband, he had changed his mind. I looked at Marky, while still on the phone, and asked, “Did you exchange any emails in the last month with the school?” Of course he had not. Well the school made a terrible error. They contacted my ex-husband, not my husband. They contacted someone who has no legal custody of our daughter, and based on that conversation had decided that I would no longer be welcome in the parent community. This happened, I’m sure by no coincidence, at the same time that I received threatening emails from my ex-husband, who suggested that due to my deviant behavior she should come to live with him. I reacted immediately. First, I raised the money in a raffle that was initially supported by Lochai and quickly built into a huge CommUNITY movement of kinksters who were outraged. Secondly, I contact NCSF and accessed professional advice…
The NCSF Incident Reporting & Response Team's purpose is to provide assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities who become victimized by actions of local authorities in opposition to the freedom of expression of SM, leather/fetish, or swing practices.   The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)’s Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) Program uses three primary criteria for taking a case: The issue must openly, directly, and specifically relate to BDSM, swing or poly activities between consenting adults; in other words, the problems you face must relate to or be caused from your involvement in BDSM, swing or poly without question. The issue must be one whose outcome or precedent could affect not just the individual filing the complaint, but potentially a significant number of people with the same, or similar, problem. The incident needs to have a reasonable chance of a successful resolution; usually indicating that the individual filing has not also been found guilty of a crime other than behaviors currently considered illegal relating to BDSM, swing or poly.  
NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response was created to provide assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities. If you engage in SM, fetish, swing or polyamory practices, and are being persecuted or discriminated against because of it, please contact NCSF. If your group or business is being harassed by religious political extremists or if you need help doing outreach to your local law enforcement, please contact NCSF. The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)’s Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) Program uses three primary criteria for taking a case: The issue must openly, directly, and specifically relate to BDSM, swing or poly activities between consenting adults; in other words, the problems you face must relate to or be caused from your involvement in BDSM, swing or poly without question. The issue must be one whose outcome or precedent could affect not just the individual filing the complaint, but potentially a significant number of people with the same, or similar, problem. The incident needs to have a reasonable chance of a successful resolution; usually indicating that the individual filing has not also been found guilty of a crime other than behaviors currently considered illegal relating to BDSM, swing or poly.   Here are a couple of examples of how we can and do help individuals who contact us for help.   NCSF was contacted in February 2009 by a mother in the South Central US. The woman’s parents became aware of her involvement in the BDSM and swing communities and initiated an action with the court to challenge the mother’s fitness as a parent and the custody of her children. An allegation of abuse/neglect was made by the parents with child protective services and an investigation was opened by the state concurrent with the family court awarding temporary custody to the grandparents. The sole basis for the custody challenge was the mother’s consensual adult BDSM and swing interests.    NCSF referred the mother to an attorney in her area who was experienced in working with child protective services (CPS) and those in the alternative communities. We educated the attorney about consensual adult swing and BDSM activities. We provided a referral to a kink-friendly family therapist certified by the court as an expert to do an independent parent/child evaluation. We spoke with the CPS investigator who was initially hostile and successfully convinced her to look at this family’s particulars instead of prejudging…
Judy Guerin This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Susan Wright This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Every year, NCSF helps hundreds of people, events, groups and businesses that are being persecuted for their association with the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities. NCSF is here to help you -- the SM, swing, and polyamory communities. If you have a problem with discrimination, persecution, or harassment because of your sexual expression, please contact NCSF for assistance. The following are statements from events, businesses and individuals NCSF has helped.
DSM-V in the News

DSM-V in the News

  • The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!

    The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!   The American Psychiatric Association has depathologized kinky sex – including cross-dressing, fetishes, and BDSM – in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Now the paraphilias are considered to be “unusual sexual interests,” while those who have sex with children or people who haven’t consented, or who deliberately cause harm to themselves or others, may be diagnosed with a…






    Tags: DSM
  • Press Release - DSM Update 2/16/10

    The APA Paraphilias Subworkgroup Agrees: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis!






    Tags: DSM
  • Press Release - Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis 02-02-10

    Press Release - Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis






    Tags: DSM Kinky
  • Action Alert - DSM Petition 10/15/09

    Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis Help make history by signing the DSM Revision Petition now! The diagnoses in the DSM-IV-TR still subject people who practice BDSM, fetishes and cross-dressing to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. We need 3,000 signatures, but we only have 2,200 now. If you don't speak up and call on the American Psychiatric Association to adhere to empirical research when revising the diagnoses…






    Tags: DSM Leather Fetish
  • Press Release - Sweeden Takes Sexual Behaviors Off Their Disease List

    Sweden takes sexual behaviors off their disease list November 25, 2008 - The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare is declassifying sexual behaviors as mental illnesses to avoid strengthening prejudice against the behaviors, the Swedish news service Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported last week. The diagnoses which will soon disappear from the disease registry include sadomasochism, fetishism, fetishistic transvestitism, transvestitism, gender identity disorder in youth, and multiple disorders of sexual preferences. NCSF…






    Tags: DSM Sexual Behaviors
  • Press Release - NCSF Marching Forward

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE National Coalition for Sexual Freedom     Marching Forward: NCSF proactively advocates for sexual freedom   November 19, 2008 - NCSF is proud to be the only group in the country with a national mission committed to changing the political, legal and social environment for those involved with the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities. The new board of NCSF was voted in at the annual Coalition Partner…






    Tags: DSM Incident Response KAP Media Outreach EOP
  • Action Alert - Religious political extremists attack The Task Force for "Leather Leadership Award"

    February 13, 2008 - The American Family News Network posted an inflammatory article condemning the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for honoring Guy Baldwin with  their Leather Leadership Award at the 20th National Conference on LGBT Equality:  Creating Change, on February 6-10, 2008 (www.thetaskforce.org). According to the February 7th article: Peter LaBarbera, executive director of Americans for Truth commented that he is  not sure if he is more surprised…






    Tags: DSM Creating Change Conference Task Force Award Leather LGBT
Resources
Learn More about DSM-V
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DSM-V: We're Making a Difference

  • Over 3000 signatures on DSM-V Revision Petition submitted APA
  • NCSF Letter to the Editor published in Archives of Sexual Behavior
  • NCSF has helped successfully lobby for the new proposed changes to the DSM-V which depathologizes BDSM

About DSM-V Revision Project

The DSM Revision project is attempting to depathologize BDSM in the APA Diagnostic and Statistic Manual.

Goal:
The goal of the DSM-V Revision Project is to keep people from being discriminated against and persecuted because the current APA guidelines say BDSM is indicative of mental illness.

Contact:
Susan Wright
,
NCSF Board Member
Director of the DSM-V Revision Project.
susan@ncsfreedom.org

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Help fund education efforts to the APA and therapeutic professionals
JOIN Now - Become a member of the NCSF
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