Setting up a community support network for dealing with/preventing harassment/abuse (#ssp)


#1

Sorry for the War and Peace-length title.

The whole litany of sexual harassment/abuse revelations has really #mademethink about my/others’ experiences in the communities I’m a part of. In the community I’m thinking of, it’s very male dominated and there have been quite a few issues with this stuff. Feel like an idiot for not having thought of it before but I feel like there should be some kind of community support framework for dealing with this stuff (both for those who face it and the perpetrators).

Problem is I have no idea where to start with this especially as it’s a massively backwards community in some respects. I kind of want to have an open discussion about it but I just feel like that would end up being derailed by whataboutery and any backlash further putting off anyone who has faced this in the past or faces it in the future. I’m also nervous about people not taking it seriously or it exacerbating any issues, plus a looot of the guys involved are autistic or have other issues which make plain calling out a bit more complex; these are issues I don’t have any experience in dealing with sensitively.

I’d like to have a few trusted people who will confidentially listen to allegations and act upon the information in a way that the victim is comfortable with… but then I have to choose people who are appropriate, prepared and at least slightly trained for the role, not to mention willing. Then I’d like to speak to people, esp women, to see what they’d like to be in place as support/dealing with it… but I don’t want to bring up any bad experiences for people that they’d rather not be reminded of.

Just seems like a total minefield and I don’t want to do more harm than good, but I think even just 2 people who can be safe spaces for victims to chat to would be beneficial?


#2

It sounds like an excellent idea.

I guess that it would be similar to setting up a whistleblowing programme. There are lots of resources on-line with checklists and the like for these things, and how to minimise the risk of them being ineffectual, or worse.

It can be difficult to do in-house, especially if your group is small - perhaps there’s a way of pooling resources with other groups to set up an independent oversight body?


#3

Ah awesome, I’ll look into resources online. It’s gonna be even more difficult now as I spoke to the chair next year of the tournaments group and he isn’t really giving me any support on it as it’s a difficult and thankless enough task to run everything without getting involved in this. I think it would have to be run separately and I don’t know if I have the time or resource to counteract it without a team :frowning:

Arghhh. It is so hard to make men realise how difficult it can be to speak out because of factors like reputation, not wanting to be difficult, fear of not being believed etc


#4

Are you affiliated in any way to a wider association? That might be one avenue to pursue.