The Consent Counts project involves the BDSM communities in a nationwide education and activism program coordinated and led by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. This multifaceted campaign includes a comprehensive is analysis of current laws and court decisions, the development of legal arguments for changing the laws, participating in court cases, and ultimately, through lobbying, education and grass-roots activism, changing state laws and the way the public and the courts view BDSM. An important element of the project also includes an Educational Outreach Program (EOP) to educate our own communities of the current state of the law, of the effort NCSF is undertaking and to involve them in our strategic planning process and development of “best practices” by which we can protect ourselves and facilitate change. Resources for you; ( * Denotes Recently Added) *American Law Institute (ALI) Project Introduction Letter to ALI from NCSF Discuss on FetLife Sign the Petition Consent Counts Statement Consent Counts Statement Consent Counts Statement Summary Power Exchange Statement Power Exchange Statement Consent Counts Mission Mission Statement Next Chapter for Consent Counts - Press Release Consent Counts Legal Issues CLE Overview and Outline Legal Cases and Law Review Articles Dealing with Consent State by State Assault Laws "Consent Counts or Does It?" by Judy Guerin Community Assistance Guides Consent and BDSM: The State of the Law - BDSM activity, even where clearly consensual, can be and frequently is prosecuted under state criminal laws dealing with assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault or sexual abuse. Consent Counts Survey - NCSF Survey to gauge respondents' views on consent in a BDSM context. Guide for Groups - Guide for groups involved in BDSM-Leather_Fetish, swinging, and polyamory lifestyles Is This Assault - Guide for determining wheither a consent violation can legaly be considered assault Dealing with Assault - understand your rights and options when it comes to consent violations. Kink Aware Victim Services - Victim Services associated with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects that are kink-aware BDSM vs Assault Wallet Card - Text for a wallet-sized card that explains consent on the context of BDSM In the Aftermath - A guide for victims of sexual assault and/or intimate partner violence in the BDSM community When The Levee Breaks - A guide to dealing with and avoiding arrest and prosecution in BDSM scenes Consent Counts FAQ Community Resources Consent Counts PPT Presentation Community Discussion Guide (Coming Soon) Survey on Consent (Coming soon) Consent Counts on FetLife
OUR MISSION: Mission: To decriminalize consensual BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance/submission, sadomasochism) in U.S. law by ensuring that consent will be recognized as a defense to criminal charges brought under assault laws and other statutes. Unlike most other sexual issues (rape, for example), BDSM activities—a “scene”, a dungeon party, a Dominant/submissive or Master/slave relationship—can result in a criminal prosecution and conviction even where the activity is entirely consensual. It’s important to remember that most BDSM activities are treated as violence and not sex. This is not speculation; in 2010, NCSF’s incident response help line received 204 requests for help concerning criminal prosecutions. NCSF’s research of cases throughout the United States revealed that not a single appellate court decision has allowed consent as a defense to a BDSM-based criminal prosecution for assault, sexual abuse, etc. Even where a state law allows the consent defense in cases that do not involve “serious bodily injury,” appellate courts have ruled that the use of nipple clamps or hot wax produces “serious bodily injury”. The realization that our communities are at risk of criminal prosecution led to the launch of the “Consent Counts” initiative in 2006 at a Leather Leadership Roundtable at NGLTF’s Creating Change. At this Roundtable and one held subsequently at the Leather Leadership Conference, decriminalization of consensual BDSM was determined to be the number one priority of the BDSM/Leather/Fetish communities. It was subsequently determined that NCSF would take a leadership and coordinating role. This is, with the related initiative to change the way BDSM is viewed by psychiatry in the DSM criteria, NCSF’s most important project. Our “Consent Counts” initiative is multi-faceted. We have researched the statutes, court decisions and relevant law review articles in all 50 states, and the results of that research are available on the NCSF website. We are presenting programs and holding meetings with our communities across the country, to build understanding of the issues and to develop consensus on an effective approach to nationwide activism. A national discussion guide has been created to facilitate local discussions to assist in the drafting of a community-wide statement on consent at LLC at Seattle 2013 with the goal of decriminalization and to promote local and national activism. This aspect of our initiative also includes an EOP focused on Frequently Asked Questions about the criminal law issues and on Best Practices by which individuals and groups can reduce the likelihood of prosecution…
In 2007, NCSF organized a leather leadership round table at the Creating Change conference to discuss the goals of the BDSM-leather-fetish communities. The number one priority was determined to be the decriminalization of BDSM. A subsequent town hall meeting at LLC was held to further discuss this goal and to establish an outline for a working plan for this 10-15 year project. This is a community-wide project with participation by national groups as well as activists to help determine the plan to accomplish this goal. Earlier this year, it was determined that it would be in the best interest of this project for NCSF to take a leadership role. Since NCSF had already established the DSM project as a major area of focus, it made sense to also add the CONSENT COUNTS project as a major focus. Judy Guerin, former Executive Director of NCSF and long-time sexual freedom activist, recently re-joined NCSF as the CONSENT COUNTS project director.
The NCSF Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) program provides assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities who become victimized because of SM, leather, fetish, or swing practices.
Program Goals: NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response was created to provide assistance to individuals and groups within the BDSM, swinging and poly communities who are experiencing discrimination or needs assistance because of their interests and activities.