Abuse vs. BDSM

"If thou dost ill, the joy fades, not the pains;
If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains."
      - Benjamin Franklin
Choleric man beating his wife

Defining the Problem in the BDSM Community

Consensual BDSM is not the same as domestic violence. I -- like most groups and individuals in our community -- abhor domestic violence, abuse, and rape. Several individuals and BDSM organizations have issued statements clarifying their stand on the issue.


Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy.
It does not boast, it is not proud
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered
It keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres
1 Corinthians 13


Addressing the Problem in the BDSM Community

While BDSM realtionships can be healthy and positive that doesn't mean abuse is completely alien to are community. It's as musch a problem in the BDSM sub culture as it is anywhere else. There are resource available specifically for us.

  • The NLA-I Domestic Violence Project: The vision of the NLA-I Domestic Violence Project is to create a national and international network to provide information, appropriate referrals, resources, and safe shelters for those in the world community who have been subjected to abusive and violent BDSM relationships and who are seeking a way out of those relationships or who require a more extensive support network than is otherwise available to them.
  • Playing and Staying Safe by Gloria Brame
  • BDSM Safe Haven - This is a support group for survivors of abuse. These ones, and others interested in BDSM and abuse issues.
  • The L.A.S.T. (Lifestyle Abuse Survivors Together) ribbon campaign was "created to show the support and unity of those of us in the BDSM Lifestyle who have been abused in the lifestyle and/or as a result of childhood abuse, domestic violence, adult abuse, any kind of abuse. "
"Psychopaths have an uncanny ability to spot and use 'nurturant women' -- that is, those who have a powerful need to help or mother others. Many such women are in the helping professions -- nursing, social work, counseling -- and tend to look for the goodness in others while overlooking or minimizing their faults: 'He's got a problem but I can help him,' or, 'He had a such a rough time as a kid, all he needs is someone to hug him.' These women usually take a lot of abuse in their belief that they can help; they are ripe for being left emotionally, physically, and financially drained."
      - Robert D. Hare, PhD
        Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

Vanilla (Non-BDSM) Abuse Sites


Dealing with Rape and Violence

    San Antonio Resources

    • Call 911 for police emergency
    • Alamo Area Rape Crisis Ctr 210-674-4900
    • Battered Women's Shelter: 210-733-8810 (24 hours)
    • Bexar Co. Child Abuse Hotline 210-532-2873
    • Children's Shelter (Ages 0-12) 210-227-8959
    • The Salvation Army 24 hour number for the Women's Shelter at Hope Center (Women's Shelter) is: 352-2042. The Salvation Army Social Service Center at 352-2020 is open Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The Social Service office is the first contact point for needs such as: emergency food pantry, job location assistance, rent/utility assistance, transitional living facilities, Scattered Site Apartment Program, or the Home Sweet Home Program - and in some few cases, child care assistance.
    • San Antonio Police Department's Victim's Advocacy: 210-207-2141
    • San Antonio Child Protective Services 210-532-2873
    • The United Way has a listing of ALL agencies in San Antonio and Bexar County that offers all types of assistance. They have a computerized system that is absolutely outstanding and this is a free service. Call 227-4357.

    Texas Resources

    • Families In Crisis, Inc.,: Serving Bell, Coryell, and Hamilton Counties, including Ft. Hood. Families In Crisis, Inc., a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, supports and empowers victims of family violence and sexual assault through safe shelter and outreach services while providing the community with awareness education and resources to create a safer community.
      Families in Crisis, Inc.
      P.O. Box 25 Killeen, TX 76540
      Phone 254-634-1184 or 254-773-7765
      Fax 254-526-6111
      24-hour hotline 1-888-799-SAFE
    • Texas Council on Family Violence
      Texas Council on Family Violence
      P.O. Box 161810
      Austin, TX 78716
      Phone: 512-794-1133
      FAX: 512-794-1199
    • Texas Sexual Offender Database at Texas Department of Public Safety: Is a helpful -- but imperfect -- means of separating the dangerous predators from the safe kinky folk. It's possible that most of the dangerous predators aren't in those directories and some innocent people are.
    • Texas Sex Offender Registry: I have the same caution as the previous item.
    • The Women's Shelter of Arlington
      P. O. Box 1207
      Arlington, Texas 76004
      (817) 548-0583
      Fax (817) 548-0987
      24-Hour Hotline (817) 460-5566

    National and International Resources





Elsewhere on this site

For advice on finding non-abusive, consensual BDSM play partners, please see this site's other sections (especially the Dating and Communication section.) They contains many essays and resources including:





Personal Bill of Rights

Author Unknown
  1. Life should have choices beyond mere survival.
  2. I have a right to say no to anything when I do not feel ready or when it's unsafe.
  3. Life should not be motivated by fear.
  4. I have a right to all my feelings.
  5. I am probably not guilty.
  6. I have a right to make mistakes.
  7. There is no need to smile when I cry.
  8. I have a right to terminate conversations with people who make me feel diminished and humiliated.
  9. I can be healthier than those around me.
  10. It's okay for me to be relaxed, playful, and frivolous.
  11. I have a right to change and grow.
  12. It is important to set limits and to take care of myself.
  13. I can be angry with someone I love.
  14. I can take care of myself, no matter what circumstances I am in.
  15. I do not have to be fully healed to be fully worthwhile.
  16. I do not have to be perfect to be perfectly happy.

I do not have to be perfect, period. NO ONE ELSE IS!





Author Unknown

We had our first argument last night, and he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.

I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said, because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day.

Last night he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.

It seemed like a nightmare, I couldn't believe it was real.

I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry cause he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today, and it wasn't mother's day or any other special day.

Last night, he beat me up again, it was much worse than all the other times.

If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? What about money?

I'm afraid of him and scared to leave. But I know he must be sorry because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral!

Last night, he finally killed me. He beat me to death.

If only I had gathered enough courage to leave him, I would not have gotten flowers today.......

If you are against domestic abuse, please pass this along to everyone, NOT just women.


Phenomenal Women of the Web Against Domestic Violence


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