What Happens When S&M Sex Clubs Sprout Up on Ivy Campuses and Coercion Becomes a Problem
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Everyone agreed that this was abuse, but when she talked about reporting it, they waffled.
The NCSF has been working on new community guidelines about what constitutes consent and what doesn’t. Ms. Wright says she’s also been developing an app with FetLife that will direct members who have been abused to the authorities, as well as a new program that helps victims report to the police in general.
Meanwhile, despite FetLife’s best efforts, alleged abusers are still being publicly identified. A tech-savvy member of the BDSM community named MayMay recently developed an app that puts a yellow square around the profile photo of anyone who has been accused of abuse, along with a description of their alleged misdeeds. The yellow square can only be seen within the app, a free download.
After her breakup with Eric, Victoria sought out the help of a therapist and was diagnosed with PTSD. Eventually, she decided to press charges.
“I met a lawyer and we just picked the three most obvious instances of rape,” she recalled. “He said it wouldn’t make sense to file a report of 20 instances. I was worried that if I made the report, Eric would come attack me or kill me, and I didn’t want to put my life in danger unless I was certain something would come of it.” Victoria’s lawyer went to a friend who was a DA and asked what he would do with such a case.
Victoria was sitting in the school library weeks later when she received the email from her lawyer. The DA said he would throw the case out. BDSM scenarios are just too complicated to prosecute, he said.
One afternoon, Michael again met with school administrators about Munch gaining official recognition as a student group. Michael and two other group leaders sat and waited for their turn to be seen. Other student group leaders had arrived late and were wearing shorts. Michael and the other Munch members had worn suits. They were nervous.
The meeting was tense, but Michael felt it went well. “One of the big concerns that they had were issues of consent, and I’m proud to say we did a good job of representing ourselves as a group that takes consent very seriously,” he said. He hopes that Munch can become a leader in larger discussions about sexual abuse on campus, taking its consent-is-paramount model to the “vanilla” world. Harvard will make a determination about the group’s official status at the end of November.