What is consent?
At Braven Manor, we use the FRIES definition for consent:
- Freely given – There must be no pressure, force or manipulation of any kind.
- Revocable – Anyone can change their mind at any time, for any reason (or no reason!).
Informed - All parties must know exactly what they are consenting to
Enthusiastic - Everyone should be excited and interested in what is happening
Specific – Every individual act requires consent, every time
If you are not certain you have your partner’s consent, you don’t!
What is a consent violation?
A consent violation is any deviance from pre-negotiated activities that is deemed by either party to be distressing. If your activities do not adhere to the principles of FRIES, there is a strong likelihood that consent is being violated.
How can I avoid consent violations?
To avoid consent violation and possible trauma to your partner:
- Negotiate the details of your scene as thoroughly as possible. If anything is unclear, ASK YOUR PARTNER WHAT THEY MEAN. Ideally, use the Negotiation Form.
If you partner says they do not want to do something, do not argue or try to persuade them.
Make sure your partner seems excited and interested in what is happening.
If you are a novice ask someone you trust who has experience for help in negotiating. Braven Manor organizers are always available to assist.
Ask a more experienced person who you trust to spot for you when you are playing for the first time. Or play in a public area where others are watching.
Know your partner and play within your partner’s comfort zone. If you are a Top playing with a novice, that means playing very conservatively.
If an activity infringes on the negotiated activities, point it out to your partner and say you are uncomfortable. Safeword as necessary. If your partner uses their safeword, stop what you are doing immediately and check in with them.
Do not negotiate new activities in the middle of a scene. If a deviance is suggested by either party, suggest that you discuss the idea for your next session.
What should I do if my consent has been violated?
Consent violations can be very traumatic. If your consent has been violated, you deserve to feel in control of what happens next. Whatever you decide, you deserve to feel safe, supported, and believed.
We encourage you to speak to a Braven Manor organizer about any consent violation if you feel comfortable doing so.
If you have been sexually assaulted, we encourage you to file a police report if you are comfortable doing so. Individuals who are cis or trans women, Two-Spirit, trans or non-binary can seek assistance from WAVAW. Man individuals can seek assistance from the BC Society for Man Survivors of Sexual Assault.
If you think the consent violation may have been a misunderstanding or miscommunication, we suggest considering the following. Do you wish to give the person feedback? Do you feel comfortable doing so? If you do not feel comfortable, trauma counsellors at WAVAW and BCSMSSA may be able to help.
Remember, you can talk to someone you trust as soon as you are comfortable, even if a long time has passed.
Consent violations reported to Braven Manor
IF AN ALLEGATION OF CONSENT VIOLATION IS SERIOUS ENOUGH THAT IT COULD WARRANT POLICE INTERVENTION, THE VIOLATOR WILL BE IMMEDIATELY BANNED FROM BRAVEN MANOR.
For all other incidents, if a consent violation is reported to Braven Manor, the incident will be processed as follows:
What should I do if I think I violated someone’s consent?
- Information will be gathered from all parties and eyewitnesses in private.
The violator will be educated about the problem and warned about any future incidents.
Repeated problems with a violator will result in the violator being banned from Braven Manor.
The victim will be supported within our capabilities and as the victim desires. Braven Manor will assist with finding and contacting kink-friendly counsellors and/or forensic nurses. We will also assist in making a police complaint as desired, and fully cooperate with any investigation that may ensue.
This can be a challenging thing to acknowledge. It is important to own your mistake, to listen to the other party, and to support them in whatever way they need – even if what they need is to be left alone.
If you believe you may have violated another person’s consent, consider the following:
It may be difficult, but for the person whose consent was violated, hearing you acknowledge your actions and offering support can go a long way to helping them heal, and potentially rebuild trust.
- What are some ways you can acknowledge your actions and ask for forgiveness?
Are you able to contact the person? Can you invite them to engage in a conversation about the incident?
- What does the other person need from you?
How can you learn from this mistake so that it’s not repeated in the future?
© Copyright 2016-2021 Braven Manor
Revised July 2021