Safer Spaces Policy
We really value survivors as members of our community and want to make it as easy as possible for them to be and remain part of it. We know that reporting abuse is often a horrible experience to go through so we want to make it as easy as possible. To that end, we’d like folks to know what the reporting process at Story Slam looks like as far as possible so survivors can make the right decision for themselves. That said, every situation is different and Story Slam is run entirely by volunteers who aren’t trained in dealing with sexual assault or abuse. We don’t want to add to any harm by overstating our abilities, and are not in any position to provide support. We have provided links below to some fantastic organisations who can provide support for survivors. What we can do is let you know how we plan to deal with these situations, which will be based on how we have dealt with situations in the past.
Our primary value is supporting the survivor and ensuring their safety and the safety of our community as far as is possible.
If we receive an accusation of assault we will suspend the person who has been accused from Story Slam with immediate effect, if the survivor requests us to.
You can get in touch with any member of our Safer Spaces team to let us know that something has happened. You are very welcome to create an anonymous email address, keep in mind that we may want to respond with follow up questions (e.g. identifying information of the accused) so if you use an anonymous account, it’s important that you check for such messages.
We have three people in the safer spaces team whom can be contacted about accusations. Members of the team will share details with each other in order to support and hold each other accountable, though we can withhold some information from the other members of the safer spaces team (such as a survivor’s name and identifying details) if we are asked to. We won’t disclose any information beyond the team before the survivor wants us too. We recognise that everyone is capable of assault. If an accusation concerns a member of the team and/or someone close to them, we won’t automatically discuss it with that person, and will work with a person who contacts us to find a way to move forward.
We want to move towards a world where people can take accountability for their actions, and not assault people again. We are not interested in punishing someone who has assaulted, only in supporting the survivor and keeping our community safe. As such we will ensure that people are suspended from Story Slam following an allegation, but if they have taken accountability and proven they have taken every effort to change their behaviour for the better, we will discuss the possibility of their return to the community. However, we do not have the relevant expertise to be able to administer accountability processes ourselves, and the burden is on the person who has assaulted to demonstrate that they can be trusted again. This will be at Story Slam’s discretion, and the survivor's needs will be prioritised in this process.
The Safer Spaces Team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
If, for whatever reason, you’re not comfortable with a particular member of the team being involved, feel free to get in touch using these individual personal email addresses:
Ailsa Li Chern Fineron
Sophie Dig Wilk (Dig will be out of Bristol June - Sept 2017, but mostly still contactable)
For recent assault (less than 12 months ago) The Bridge is great
There is a lot of other good support to deal with sexual violence out there too. The Bristol Sexual Violence Services Pathway can help guide you towards the right support for you (or someone you’re supporting)
These are some lovely self help guides
There’s also Next Link who specialises in domestic abuse:
A wonderful zine about learning good consent, great reading for anyone: