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Drawing the Line – Some things your group or club can consider when trying to determine if a member should be disciplined or banned

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Sanctions

Groups and events educate members about safety and consent, so the first level of dealing with someone involved in a consent incident is education. This is particularly true for newbies.

When a rule is broken during an event, it’s best to provide education or enforce consequences immediately, depending on the seriousness of the infraction. Staff and volunteers should be treated the same way you treat members who are involved in consent incidents.

WARNINGS

You can give a public or private warning to a member who is involved in a consent incident. Public warnings help inform the membership that violating another person’s limits is not allowed. Depending on the severity of the consent incident, here are some additional options:

1. A strike system can be used for minor consent incidents during the education process.

2. You can request that someone take consent and negotiation workshops before they can return.

3. You can put someone on a watch list and let them know that DMs will be watching their public play and listening in on their negotiations.

4. You can ask someone to leave the event or party.

5. You can keep someone from presenting, and thereby remove your group’s tacit endorsement of them as a player.

6. You can remove a volunteer from a staff position or position of authority.

7. You can suspend someone’s membership for 3-6 months to a year if you believe a time-out will help get the message across.

BANNING

A group or private event can refuse attendance or membership to anyone for any reason or no reason, and ban anyone for any behavior that violates the group’s consent policy whether or not the incident took place at your event.
 

1. State on your membership application or entry form that your group/event reserves the right to refuse membership for any reason.

2. For liability reasons, we suggest that you don’t give a reason why you are refusing membership because then the group might be brought into court to prove it. The best thing to say is, “We’re sorry, but you can’t belong to our group,” or “We’re sorry but we no longer feel you’re a good fit for our group.”

3. For cases where you feel you have to give a reason, don’t bring in another person’s name or state any allegations of criminal acts as factual events. You can say: “It’s been reported to us that you’ve committed a consent violation that goes against our Consent Policy.”

4. If you run a public event such as a munch or bar night, you can request that someone be removed from the meeting area. However, the owner may allow that person to stay elsewhere on the premises. 

 

NCSF materials are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.