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"When the Levee Breaks: A guide to dealing with and avoiding arrest and prosecution in BDSM scenes." 

"When the Levee Breaks" is a companion to the NCSF publication, "The Aftermath," and is a guide to provide a perspective for those who have, through mistake, misunderstanding, or a fleeting lapse of reason, committed an act of criminally actionable sexual assault.  It is not intended to provide a defense for indefensible acts. "When the Levee Breaks" also provides information on how to better protect oneself against arrest and prosecution.

Click to get a PDF of "When the Levee Breaks"


NCSF may be able to help - Learn about our Incident Response ProgramWhen you need help and don't know where to turn, NCSF may be able to help. Our Incident Response program helps hundreds of people every year. We make a difference for individuals and organizations facing discrimination, legal crisis and other important life events related to their kink interests. 

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

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 

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 and consultations through their Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) listing. With the help of the community and the NCSF I felt prepared for battle.

Now, coming full circle, I am honored that my PR firm, Quid Pro Quo, will be working with NCSF on the launching of a new blog. We are doing the work pro-bono to show NCSF our appreciation and to give back to an organization that protects all of us. It feels really great to be in a position to give back. So do us a favor and help us help them. We’ll be asking people to re-post and tweet links and I hope you’ll consider it your way of giving back to such an amazing organization.

Catalina Loves
Best Sex Bloggers
Fetlife

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.

 NCSF is not legal aid, nor do we offer specific legal advice for individuals. NCSF is a resource for the members of the kink, poly and Lifestyle communities and for people seeking information about them. NCSF provides publicly available information on kink and nonmonogamy for consenting adults. We advocate on behalf of the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities.

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.

 

NCSF is a resource for the members of the kink, poly and Lifestyle communities and for people seeking information about them. If you engage in BDSM, fetishes or non-monogamy practices, and you are being persecuted or discriminated against because of it, please contact NCSF. If you need help removing kink or non-monogamy as a barrier to public services, please contact NCSF. If your group or business needs help with outreach to local officials, please contact NCSF.  GET HELP NOW!

Feeling alone in your fight for your rights? NCSF's Incident Response Program may be able to help.The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)’s Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) 

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.

NCSF is not legal aid, nor do we offer specific legal advice for individuals. NCSF is a resource for the members of the kink, poly and Lifestyle communities and for people seeking information about them. NCSF provides publicly available information on kink and nonmonogamy for consenting adults. NCSF assists individuals in removing discrimination as a barrier to public services when they make a request to our Incident Reporting & Response program. We also advocate on behalf of the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities.

 

 


Incident Reporting & Response – 2015 Annual Report
By Susan Wright

NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response provides informational resources about kink and non-monogamy and referrals to kink aware professionals. 198 requests for help were received in 2015, compared to 184 requests received in 2014. Professionals who requested information to better serve kinky people included: academics, social services, vanilla nonprofit organizations & events, authors, merchant services, and insurance brokers.

Criminal

72 people requested informational resources and referrals to kink aware professionals involved criminal issues:

39 requests from victims of assault, sexual assault, sexual harassment and blackmail
14 requests from people who have been accused of consent violation (5 were requests for Kink Aware Professional who could serve as an expert witness in a trial)
5 involved requests from pro-dommes
4 people were called as witnesses in a criminal trial and were thereby outed
3 involved photographs of BDSM scenes or marks
7 involved other criminal issues such as parole violations, bigamy, sex laws and obscenity law.

Group Issues

50 groups requested informational resources and referrals to kink aware professionals involving organizational matters. This more than doubled the requests in 2014, with the majority of those asking for information on dealing with consent violations:

24 groups and events requested information on dealing with consent violations
16 groups and events requests info and referrals regarding zoning and setting up a group
7 groups and events requested assistance with media incidents
2 groups requested help with liability issues
1 group requested help when they were sued by a member over age discrimination

Child Custody

30 people requested informational resources and referrals to kink aware professionals regarding child custody or divorce. 26 involved child custody issues, down from 37 in 2014:

16 involved BDSM, with 4 involving photos taken from FetLife
8 involved polyamory (1 involved both polyamory and BDSM)
2 involved pro-dominatrices
4 were divorce cases, with 2 involving photos taken from FetLife

This continues the trend in a sharp decline in the number of child custody cases involving BDSM since the DSM-5 proposed revisions came out in 2012:

2015 – 19 people
2014 – 37 people
2012 – 87 people
2011 – 115 people
2010 – 125 people
2009 – 132 people

Additional Requests

There were 46 other requests for informational resources and/or referrals to kink aware professionals:

23 professionals requested information about kink or polyamory to better serve their clients
10 people requested assistance with discrimination because they are kinky or polyamorous
6 people requested assistance with media exposure
4 pro-dommes requested resources on setting up their business legally
3 involved threats of outing without blackmail

For updates and details on IRR requests, look for our quarterly IRR reports in the NCSF Newsletter. Sign up by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


NCSF is not legal aid, nor do we offer specific legal advice for individuals. NCSF is a resource for the members of the kink, poly and Lifestyle communities and for people seeking information about them. NCSF provides publicly available information on kink and nonmonogamy for consenting adults. We advocate on behalf of the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities. 

Unfortunately, due to limited resources the NCSF is only able to take the cases that meet the criteria set by our mission. All of our work is done by volunteers and we accept no payment for our services.

We are however happy to receive donations earmarked specifically for use in the IRR Program. Click here to donate,  Make sure you note "Incident Reporting & Response" or "IRR" in the comment box if you want to restrict your donation. We do provide basic information as resources dictate and referrals to professionals as part of our Kink Aware Professionals database.

The criteria for acceptance listed were developed to meet the primary concerns of our voting constituencies, our Coalition Partners. When the NCSF agrees to take a case the impact can be realized by all of our constituents as a whole and therefore it is up to the policies set in motion by NCSF Coalition Partners to decide whether existing resources allow for a case to be handled effectively.

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)’s Incident Response (IR) Program uses three primary criteria for taking a case:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The incident needs to have a reasonable chance of a successful resolution: usually indicating that the individual filling has not also been found guilty of a crime other than behaviors currently considered illegal relating to BDSM, swing or poly. 
 
If you meet the above criteria file a INCIDENT RESPONSE (click hear).
You may also file a report by calling (410)539-4824
 
If otherwise, you may make a general contact with the NCSF by clicking hear
 
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DSM-V in the News

DSM-V in the News

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Resources
Learn More about DSM-V
ACT Now - Request a workshop about the DSM Revision project
Request a workshop from our Education Outreach Program on this issue.

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

GIVE Now - Support NCSF DSM Revision work
Help fund education efforts to the APA and therapeutic professionals
JOIN Now - Become a member of the NCSF
Join NCSF and help support our work to depatholigize BDSM