We have just released our policy on abuse and consent! check it out and please let us know if you have suggestions about what might make you or others feel as safe as possible at our events.
Safer Spaces and Accessibility Committee
Policy on Abuse and Consent
As settlers on unceded and occupied Coast Salish Territory — specifically the territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish peoples — we recognize the ongoing violence that we are complicit in as settlers and beneficiaries of colonialism.
We acknowledge that this policy is not perfect. Nor are we as organizers. We fuck up. We make messes. Everyone does. What’s important to us is what folks do with their messes, how they clean them up, so to speak. And so in undertaking the responsibility of creating a space that is safer, more inclusive, and an alternative to the criminal (in)justice system, we are open to suggestions and feedback from the community.
As there are many types of abuse that play out in our communities (ie: sexual, physical, emotional) we intend to collectively work towards creating spaces where abuse is minimized. That said, we are aware that creating spaces that are completely free of abuse is not possible. Safer space is as much about the process as it is about the end result; the medium is the message, so to speak.
Further, we recognize that the binaries of survivor/perpetrator, victim/abuser, person harmed/person who has caused harm are limiting and that people who have experienced harm can also cause harm. We wish to acknowledge that we have all been socialized in very abusive hierarchical systems (ie: colonialism,cissexism, white supremacy) and we would like to move forward with empathy through an intersectional framework of understanding and organizing.
We are not a community accountability process, in and of itself. Rather, we are going to honour the processes as determined by the person/persons that have experienced harm. We value behaviour and actions and do not wish to lay judgement. Instead, we support a culture of action not isolation; we do not support processes for revenge or punishment.
· While we will not be passing judgment(s) or taking stances of moral superiority, we would like to make explicit that in order to support survivors we will be centring their experiences and will do our best to construct spaces in which they will feel safe, supported, and comfortable. In order to do this, we would like to invite any survivors of abuse to reach out to us so we can work toward creating these spaces for individual cases and based on individual needs.
We will not engage in abuse denying or dialogues around ze said/she said/they said in the context of this festival. We believe survivors accounts of their own harm full stop.
Consent is a practice that needs to be ever present. Consent is about communication and not making assumptions about one’s identity, sexuality, needs or wants.
As such, we will not be going to make assumptions, We encourage you to bring a buddy who will help you feel safe and comfortable. If you let us know a bit about a situation, we can also check in with you throughout the festival or event that you attend and will do our best to meet your needs. If you have any other suggestions about what might make you or others feel as safe as possible at our events (up to and including explicitly asking someone *not* to attend shoutback fest), please do let us know. We intend to make this festival as welcoming as possible and understand that knowing our neighbours and supporting people to feel comfortable is a great way to alleviate social anxieties. With this in mind, we hope you are not alarmed by our friendly greetings.
For more information on community accountability processes please visit:
For more information on consent: