Community Safety Month 2018: Consent Culture and Dealing with Abuse

March is Community Safety Month for the PCV. Throughout this month we will be promoting safe, sane and inclusive Pagan community for all through the sharing of information, discussion topics and more.

So far this month we’ve shared some important information for those new to Paganism, as well as some handy advice on looking for and joining a group. Now we move on to consent culture. For many Pagans, sexuality and the body are sacred. Unfortunately, this is not always enough in and of itself to prevent sexual harassment and abuse.

As well as the resources listed below, we strongly recommend anyone involved with the public Pagan scene read the Pagan Consent Culture anthology, which is edited by Christine Hoff Kraemer and Yvonne Aburrow.

Promoting Consent Culture in the Pagan Community: This is a summary of a model outlined in the Pagan Consent Culture anthology, which is edited by Christine Hoff Kraemer and Yvonne Aburrow. It outlines some preventative measures, as well as strategies for creating consent culture.

We recommend anyone involved in the Pagan community take a look at this book when they get a chance.

Pagans, Hugging and the Fine Art of Consent: An important reminder from Thorn Mooney about consent and touchy-feely Pagans at festivals.

The Curse of Pagan Niceness: (Content Warning) This piece from Canadian witch Sable Aradia looks at the pitfalls of Pagan “niceness” and how attitudes such as this are detrimental to creating a consent culture in our community.

Abuse Happens in a Culture that enables it: (Content Warning) Yvonne Aburrow has written widely on creating consent culture within the Pagan community. In this piece, she discusses some of the cultural changes that need to take place within the scene to minimise the risk of abusers and abuse.

Responding to Abuse in the Pagan Community: (Content Warning) Psychotherapist Cat Chapin-Bishop discusses what the Pagan community can do to protect victims, and to keep perpetrators from using our communities to find and access victims.

Do our Stereotypes Keep us Safe?: This article by Aussie Pagan blogger Bekah Evie Bel examines just how safe modern Pagans are in today’s society, pointing out that we may be doing more harm to ourselves as a community by staying “hidden”.

Community Safety Month 2018: Advice for New Pagans

March is Community Safety Month for the PCV. Throughout this month we will be promoting safe, sane and inclusive Pagan community for all through the sharing of information, discussion topics and more.

We decided to start by sharing advice and information for people new to Paganism. These articles have been shared daily on our Facebook page.

PAN Safety in Circle Pamphlet: This brochure, by our friends at The Pagan Awareness Network, is essential reading for any Pagan new to face-to-face events and groups. It covers basic personal safety within the Pagan community and what to do if you witness or become the victim of illegal or unethical behaviour. PAN is one of the longest-running groups dedicated to Pagan networking, fellowship and education in the country, and we are proud to share this as the first of our Community Safety Month resources.

The Pagan Community – A Survivor’s Guide: In this piece, UK musician and storyteller Damh the Bard offers some pearls of wisdom for those new to the Pagan community. He also discusses the ideal motivations for seeking community in the first place.

Truth and Tales about Paganism: This is another excellent brochure from our friends at The Pagan Awareness Network. This one busts some commonly believed myths for newbies to Paganism and Pagan Community.

Pagan Pathways:  Continuing on with our overview before we delve into more complex subjects, this brochure by the Pagan Awareness Network explores and demystifies many different Pagan traditions. Essential reading for anyone new to the community or to Paganism in general.

Wicca and Witchcraft – Which is Which?: The last PAN brochure we looked at explored and explained a variety of Pagan paths. This one sets out to define the differences between Wicca and witchcraft, which are two very different labels that are often confused with one another.

Paganism for Beginners – Controversies: UK Wiccan Yvonne Aburrow’s Paganism for Beginners pieces are all wonderful, but this one is especially useful to anyone just discovering the Pagan community and all its intricacies.

Sacred Ground and Acknowledgement of Country: Pagans in Australia are practicing on a land already rich with spiritual history. In this brochure, the Pagan Awareness Network discuss the importance of acknowledging the land’s traditional custodians, as well as other ways we as Pagans can show respect.

Sacred Knives: Athames and other sacred blades are used in rituals by some Pagans. But what are they used for exactly? Is it legal to carry one or use it in a public place? Our friends from the Pagan Awareness Network have got the answers in this handy brochure.

Five Things I Wish I’d Known as a Beginner: In this article, US author Thorn Mooney has some great advice for anyone new to Paganism or the Pagan community.

Skyclad – the Bare Facts: Some Pagans practice naked, or Skyclad. This brochure from the Pagan Awareness Network contains important information about the whys, the hows, the shoulds and the should-nots of ritual nudity.