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15 September 2010 @ 09:46 am
Sexual assault at Dragon*Con and what we can do  
You may or may not have heard about the spate of sexual assaults now coming to light from this year's Dragon*Con. As a regular congoer (and con-lover), I'm saddened and dismayed to hear that this is happening.

It's time for some action.

moonanstars has posted on the dragoncon lj comm suggesting safety volunteers wearing bright colored shirts, easily identifiable, who could assist congoers with safety issues, radio to police and official security, and just generally accompany anyone who felt unsafe (particularly when traveling on the street between the hotels). This is a great idea, and it is being forwarded to the D*C security department and the Convention Operations Director. I urge everyone to also write D*C and support this idea.  You can use the form on this site. Use the drop down menu to specify "Security."  Make sure to mention and link to moonanstars original post.

thatwordgrrl has awesomely been working on spreading the word about the Open Source Women Back Each Other Up project (& Gentleman's Auxiliary). She is currently offering to mail "Back Up!" ribbons for free to anyone who requests them.  Please see this post for the origins of the project and what it means.  I've requested ribbons.  I've also offered to help brainstorm ways to grow the project at D*C.  I am planning on writing to the con organizers with a proposal for full recognition in the official program, on the website, and in meatspace (probably a table to hand out ribbons and flyers).  But this is an open source project, which means we don't need official recognition to get the word out!  If anyone is interested in helping me with this, please let me know.

Additionally, I have reached out to my contact within the D*C organizing structure.  I am told that things are being done.  I can't go into much more detail than that.  I know it's cold comfort, but trust me: the people who organize D*C are aware of this year's sexual assaults, and they are working to make con a safer space next year.

D*C definitely needs a written sexual harassment policy.  Other con policies (and D*C's lack of one) are listed here.  Please write to D*C and encourage them to create a sexual harassment policy for next year's con.  This is one of the best ways to make it clear to all congoers that we will not tolerate sexual harassment or assault. 

Every idea we can come up with, every plan we can set into action, every commitment we can make not to stand by and ignore sexual assault at con, every email we can send asking the organizers to do the same — all of these things can and will help to make con a safer space for us.

I love it too much to give up on it.  I hope those of you who attend feel the same.

Feel free to make suggestions in the comments, leave links to other projects, etc.

 
 
 
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
thatwordgrrl on September 15th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks for spreading the word!
GIRLS IN SPACE BE WARYmllesays on September 15th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
It's the least I could do, when you're doing such an awesome thing for us all!
Boogaloo Shrimpjadro on September 16th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
I'm glad they're acknowledging the issue & working to make it safe & fun for everyone. I'll definitely be using the contact form to express my concern about stepping-up security.
GIRLS IN SPACE BE WARYmllesays on September 16th, 2010 01:12 am (UTC)
Thank you for writing to them! Every email helps.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )