BDSM: Femdom Laws and Politics
(Legal Issues Related to BDSM Female Domination Plays)

Femdom Laws and Politics

General Overview
Lack of Definition of BDSM Femdom Activities
For Parties in BDSM Femdom Activities
-- Possible Criminal and Civil Charges
-- How to Act When Law Enforcement Officers Come
For Law Enforcement Officers
-- Perception as a Motive for Prosecution
-- Ulterior Motives
-- The Dilemmas
-- The Differences Between Abuse and Consensual Lovemaking
-- Signals to Help You Evaluate the Situation
-- How to Act

For Law Enforcement Officers

Perception as a Motive for Prosecution

Starting at the beginning of the process (disregarding civil law for the moment): you, as an individual police officer, have little other but your own perception, norms, values and experience to rely on when it comes to interfering with anything that may look like femdom play. As a result, your upbringing, education, personal background and experience and maybe even personal emotions will be at the root of your actions, not the legislation, nor your instructions or professional education. Furthermore, incidental motivations - such as the perception of your commanding officer, political motives or for example media hypes - heavily interfere when it comes to setting priorities in this area.

A good example of how political motivation can seriously interfere in this area can be found in the Netherlands (a country that does not have specific normative sexual legislation and has a general liberal attitude towards sexual behavior). As a result of reorganization the traditional "vice" departments and squads within the Dutch police force where abandoned several years ago and the police force in general was expected to deal with sexual offences and crimes. To a certain extent this was the result of "political correctness", i.e one particular form of crime should not be singled out from general crime. As a result, quite a lot of expertise was lost, as well as specific knowledge and the ability of individual officers to judge and evaluate specific situations and cases. This has proven to be a major setback, especially in the area of fighting child abuse and child pornography and it is expected that the vice departments will be reinstated soon.

Hence, you - law enforcement officer - are pretty much on your own here and faced with several problems. Apart from lacking clear legislation and instructions, when confronted with anything that might be femdom play, you will first of all have to judge the situation as such and usually all your instincts will be drawn to pointers you have learned to distrust: appearance, people being tied up, traces that would normally indicate abuse or a fight, kidnap or rape and possibly an atmosphere that signals danger. That is not an easy situation to deal with, especially when placed in the normal stress of everyday life police work, the limited time the individual officer can spend on individual cases and the need to - generally speaking - make fast judgements and decisions. And, you may have to rely on the information of someone who - placed in other circumstances - would be considered a victim or perpetrator. Combined with the natural inclination and mindset of every police officer to choose the side of what appears to be weak (the obligation to protect), this puts you in an awkward situation.

At the same time, you are confronted with people that will not see their act as criminal, but instead are dealing with - often intense - feelings and emotions that are also not easy to explain and certainly not in a few words. The person(s) involved will usually feel trapped in the situation, possibly betrayed and in almost all circumstances humiliated, vulnerable and victimized without reason. As such you, officer involved, are not seen as "neutral" but as an intruder in a very private situation.

A dominant woman, after the act for whatever reason accused of abuse by a submissive male who may have been disappointed, will feel just as vulnerable. A submissive male, abused by what he thought was a love partner, will feel even more vulnerable since he usually actively allowed the abuser to enter into acts that turned out to be abuse and may even have been the "inviting partner". He will feel humiliated, vulnerable, foolish and naive - and will usually come to realize that he himself has neglected his own warning signals for whatever reason and self-blaming and guilt feelings are certainly not unusual in a situation like this.

Bottom line: making the right judgements is difficult and in fact requires two resources you in this case have very little off: time and adequate knowledge. That is the main reason why real abuse cases, connected to femdom play, seldomly make it to court and unfortunately often the wrong people - the ones that merely entered into a consensual act - get prosecuted or at least will be faced with the rather humiliating and scary process of a police investigation. Last but not least: such investigations frequently turn out to be a complete waste of valuable time and resources (both items no law enforcement professional ever has enough of).


 

 

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