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When I started this journey, I set out to make this journey simpler (maybe even make it easier). Instead, I wrote a lot of words. Tons and tons. Too many words. I thought I was making it simpler but I think instead, I was reinventing the wheel a bit.

I’m publishing what I wrote so far, and I’m going to go back to the drawing board. Bits of this will likely make it into addenda or resources, but I need to give this whole document a good review. I don’t even think my understanding of the base definitions is the same as it was a year ago.

I can’t wait to write on the Community Accountability topics that interest me moving forward. What are those?

My interest lies in harm reduction across two main areas: preventative, and interventive. 

First, preventative: the community’s responsibility to spot patterns of harm across many perpetrators of harm, modify the environment so it is less hospitable to that harm occurring, and to resource its members to heal from harm and to heal from the harm that leads to harm. I have some questions I’d like to figure out like:

What would an audit look like for a community event trying to spot harmful practices or power dynamics? I don’t mean power dynamics among people – we have EDI for that. But how could an organization audit power dynamics among physical placement of people and resources in a space? I’m thinking locations of dungeon furniture, red light rooms, etc. Does discretion facilitate harm or privacy or both? How can an organization find a balance that suits their membership? How can an organization get buy-in from their membership to make changes?

Second, interventive: after harm has occurred, how do we take a big picture view focused not just on this harmed person but on every harmed person this harmful person is likely to harm? Maybe none of that is actionable. However, there are a lot of juicy questions to be asked here:

What are the authority structures in traditional examples of community accountability that coerce buy-in from the harmful person? Are traditional examples of coercion more or less harmful than contemporary ones? Can traditional forms of coercion be legally duplicated?

How far should a community go to support harmful folks? How could a community keep an open door policy for harmful and harmed folks to get resources? How can a community foster a culture of non judgment on harmful and harmed parties? What educational resources would actually be interesting?


So there are some big shifts in thinking since I wrote this document (see attached); but it felt wrong after receiving a request for this document not to publish it for everyone.

If you have any questions about accountability you’d like answered, feel free to post questions in the comments and if they’re made within a year of my posting this, I’ll try to answer every one.