Primarily, we provide a 3rd (sometimes 4th) party to help arbitrate specific conflict situations in safer spaces during events. We always seek to identify victims/survivors for care and aftercare as well as abusively behaving individuals who are responsible for such vicitmisations for restorative justice-based conversations, victim/survivor-centred creative solutions, and/or voluntary exit/ ejection/ banning from the space – in collaboration with on-site security – based solely on the victim’s/survivor’s wishes or alternatively evidence of bullying, violence, or proliferation of any form of the drug „G“. We also handle issues related to adverse psychological experiences in the space in general such as adverse psychedelic experiences, although we are not medical professionals and cannot be relied upon for life-saving care, we do employ various consumption after-care methods (trip-sitting, coma-preventative g-care). In addition to the specific observations and recommendations below; we use friendliness, consent-based communication and interactions, reflections on our own privileges and experienced discriminations, and finally feedback sessions with ourselves as well as venue- and event-runners. We are not police, we are facilitators and enablers.
With any incident in the space, it is important to give victims/survivors the opportunity to take control of the fate of the situation. This includes asking for the person who was abusive to leave voluntarily or to be ejected by security, refusing to speak to the abusive person, or being open to an apology and/or further conversation with the abusive person – anger is a perfectly acceptable response as long as it is not accompanied by physical violence or bigotry (someone calling someone an “asshole” is not bigotry). We believe in offering the opportunity of apology to the person who was abusive if the victim/survivor agrees, though we do not believe they have a right to it nor forgiveness. We believe that someone who was abusive has the right to hear what they did wrong, but hearing means listening, not interrupting/not arguing. We believe in enabling creative solutions that will satisfy both victims/survivors as well as teach those who were abusive. We believe in educating guests about consent, discrimination, and restorative justice even if we must ask them to leave.
We all have different experiences, personalities, and passions so it is hardly a surprise that we all respond to adversity, trauma or reoccurances of traumatic stress in different ways. We find it useful
to think about people‘s reactions to an abusive or a psychologically adverse incident in terms of their behaviour, memories, and feelings. Those feelings are usually some mixture of or purely anger, fear, and sadness. In terms of memories we reconize that past experiences shape present perceptions and the same goes for behaviour and our reactions to the present moment. For convenience‘s sake we talk about „freezing“, „depression/resignation“, „child-like states“, and “projection/aggression/defensiveness“ as states associated with panic and trauma within the contexts we are positioned. In truth, we do not believe any of these categories occurs on their own, but these categories help us to share insights about how to deal with people in trouble. Most often, the first solution, if someone is feeling disturbed, is to remove (separate) them to another area with their consent, as this will help them transition to a new state of mind as they leave the insecure space behind with all of its negative associations. The next thing we keep in mind is that we should not try to censor feelings, physically touch/control bodies, or focus on unideal behaviour during a complaint or review of an abusive person – again, it‘s ok to be angry. Panic may accompany any behaviour and many people who have panic experiences also have strategies to help them calm down, regardless of if they are the abusively behaving person in the situation or the victim/survivor. Offering a tight hug, sitting quietly side-by-side till the panic is over, counting breaths, the sensory-countdown method (i.e. count 5 sounds, touch-feelings, sights; then 4 then 3…) and other solutions are offered.