Sexual Assault/Mediation Protocol passed at the Baltimore conference

Through long intense discussion and debate these proposals were hammered out and adopted as ARA protocol.

  1. We propose to reestablish the existing caucuses/caucus lists, including the women’s, people of color and queer caucuses.
  2. We propose to establish a men’s caucus to discuss issues of sexism and to create a safe place for men to deal with their shit. It will also help to promote
    discussion on addressing women’s issues both amongst ourselves and the women’s caucus.
  3. We propose to establish a gender queer, non-gender, transgender caucus to discuss pertinent issues in a safe environment, if those members of out community feel it is necessary in addition to the queer caucus that already exists.

Mediation Guidelines:

  • If a situation arises that is not able to be handled internally by the chapter affected, then it becomes an issue for the network to become involved in.
  • In this case, each side chooses a mediator. Those two mediators then choose a third mediator to work with them. Those mediators will identify
    themselves and the situation at hand to the network. The chosen mediators can choose to opt out at this time. A minimum period of 72 hours to one
    week will be allotted for objections for the network. (This time frame depends on the urgency of the situation, to be determined by the mediators, and will be clearly stated on the email list)
  • If objections are raised, they must be explained fully. If legitimate, new mediators will be chosen using the same process, but also in
    consideration of the nature of the situation.
  • If one party can not agree to a mediator or mediation, the mediator who has been chosen can prescribe suspension pending mediation, the next
    conference, or resolution.
  • The mediators will receive information on mediation techniques (to be compiled by Josh- ARA Columbus, and anyone else interested)
  • At this point, the mediation begins. This will include, but is not limited to, the collecting of information and any other initial
    investigative procedures. The mediators will then present their findings and plans for resolution to the network, via the email list.
  • All mediators are empowered to make decisions, but these decisions must be reported to the network. The mediators are fully accountable to the
    network. The network has the authorization to provide input or changes. The network is given a one week window after updates to raise objections, depending on the urgency of the situation.
  • The mediators will then set a time-line for resolution. They will pursue achieving the set resolution, and frequent updates will be made to the
    email list. These updates will then be documented by a designated third party. If the resolution is not reached within the set time frame, and
    does not seem likely to be within a reasonable time, a potential penalty would be suspension pending resolution or the next conference.
  • Both the network and parties involved agree and understand that the mediator is empowered and that the mediator can prescribe whatever they
    deem appropriate, including and up to expulsion (subject to input by the network).

Cases involving assault or abuse

  • In the case of assault or abuse, including but not limited to sexual, physical, emotional, mental, and verbal, it is the obligation of the
    local chapter to deal with the situation in the appropriate manner, which may include expulsion from the chapter. In regards to expulsion,
    existing network protocol then applies (as decided at the Chicago conference). It is expected that the local chapter uphold and respect
    the survivors wishes at all times.
  • In the case that the chapter does not deal with the situation, the network takes immediate action by A) suspending the chapter B) if
    necessary, physically intervening on behalf of the survivor.
  • In dealing with the above situations, the individuals must always remember to respect the survivor and their wishes. The network agrees to
    accept decisions made by the survivor and their chapter.
  • An additional component to this process is that the caucus lists are available so that the survivor may bring the situation to their
    respective caucus for further discussion and evaluation in a safe space.