JM's Own Words

Question posed: I have recently learned that GKE's procedures for responding to reports of consent violations were not clear to someone seeking to report an incident. Where are the specific details of this process posted?

JM response: We've been discussing how to do proper consent response for many years. We've been really public about the idea that explaining at least some of those details has been a specific tool used by predators to get around our rules.

Based on all of the scene revelations of the past month--not just my own, but everyone's--all consent response needs to change. I would like to hear what people feel would be appropriate responses to consent response which both protect victims, and attempt to serve the cause of creating appropriate response to those who violate consent.


JM response to one of the ANON posts:

First, since Fetlife will not let you, it's important that I identify myself as the person of whom you are speaking.

I want to thank you for your bravery in speaking up.

I am deeply and sincerely sorry for what you experienced, and I take full responsibility for it. I will say that I do not remember this incident in this way; having had the need to leave scenes at events before, I can tell you that I would never consider it okay to leave a scene to introduce strangers into it, or indeed anyone else into it, without specific verbal consent, and definitely not with nonverbal consent. I have asked people if they wanted aftercare from others when I had to leave rapidly; but I have never intentionally left a scene going, with new participants, when I had to leave--particularly if the participants did not know each other.

I can't ask you to have stepped forward sooner; I recognize how difficult it is to come forward in any way. But I wish it had been something we had discussed, in our play or in our friendship, at some point, so that I could begin making amends sooner.

This doesn't change the importance of your message, but you were not given accurate information. It has always, always been a critical part of our policy that if a consent accusation is against a member of the consent team, that team member MUST recuse themselves and CANNOT participate in the process. Otherwise, there is no possible way to protect the victim. The fact that you were misinformed does not change the incident, nor does it change the fact that this policy clearly was insufficiently visible for you to feel safe speaking up.

Our company has gone a step further and specifically hired an outside mediator, one that is not on staff, and complaints about any staff member would go anonymously through this person. In addition, the consent team does indeed have three members, one of whom is me.

This is your message and your voice; I do not want to take away from this by posting further to this thread, and I need to spend time absorbing this knowledge and digesting it.

Thank you again for writing this, and breadcrumbs.


I don't honestly think there are a lot of excellent systems in place for working with consent violations in general. Having a person recuse themselves is the best solution I know. I don't think there is an optimal situation for how to work with someone in a position of authority who has one or more accusations.

Yes, we've been talking about an outside mediator for some time, and no, it's certainly not the person you spoke to. It certainly happened in the last 18 days, because when you chose, as was your right, to say that you would not trust an internal investigation, you set a precedent which said that we needed to find a way to do an outside investigation.



It's so hard to admit that you've been abused.

No matter your shape, your size, your identity, your role, it's so hard to admit that you've been abused.

You can look back, months later, when the shaking has slowed down to tremors and your mind is only awash with fog, not pain, and still, it's so hard to admit that you've been abused.

You can go over the documentation and the records--because you have to--you can re-read the interactions and see the lies, right there, contradicting themselves, in black and white--and still, it's so hard to admit that you've been abused.

You can be told by those around you that they saw it happen, saw the effect on you, saw what changed when you got out, and still think that you just know something they don't, that you understand some motivation they don't see. It's so hard to admit you've been abused.

You can look at what it did to your life, to your heart and your thoughts, to your ability to try to survive and be in the world--and still, it's so hard to admit hat you've been abused.

Abuse is like that: Whether the abuser is a conscious predator, fully aware--or someone whose behaviors change for some other reason until what was healthy becomes deadly, in the same way that nutritious food becomes poisonous mold--you will blame yourself, blame your circumstances, blame anyone but the source of the abuse.

Because once you do that, you have to admit it to yourself: that you were vulnerable. And even though we try to tell victims that they ARE victims, it's hard to believe that one is a victim--instead of just a sucker, someone who should have known better. It's hard to think that it happened TO you--and so easy to think you brought it on yourself.

Because it's hard, so fucking, fucking hard--to admit that you've been abused.