Outing “potential abusers” in the BDSM community has been a frequently debated topic for some time. Accusations have been thrown around that certain people were using the scene as cover for their desire to abuse others, resulting in those making the claims being banned. Foul has been cried on a couple of occasions, claims that the wrong person has been banned and that “victim blaming” is in full effect.
This is a tricky subject. I am concerned that genuine predators and abusers are able to escape detection for prolonged periods, either because they’re not reported to authorities or no legal action is taken. I am concerned about the damaging effects of placing your trust in a person who proves unworthy of it, particularly if you’re the latest victim in a long line. Something could – should have been done to stop it before it happened.
Yet I equally believe strongly in the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”. I detest the “trial by media” that has become the norm in some quarters, particularly when allegations of abuse are concerned. I feel too for those who operate our forums and sites who often face little choice but to ban the accusers for fear of libel action or other repercussions that could harm the entire community.
I can’t help but view the “outing” of alleged abusers within the BDSM community as solving the wrong problem. Our community should have the confidence to report the matter to the authorities and expect action to be taken. Those who are genuine victims should know their abuser will be pursued; those who are falsely accused know they will be vindicated.
Maybe it’s an idealist’s view. Maybe it is unrealistic. What I do know is the current way the issue is being dealt with is putting innocents in impossible positions to act as judge, jury and executioner.
Spread the love...