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They have been fighting assault in EA since 2016....We don’t think it’s productive to go into more depth about the author’s specific claims or engage in a back and forth with her,

Correct, I have been working on rape as an issue since 2016. It was only after the publication the Time article that I went back and counted the number/percent that relate to EA. Re: numbers, I have not shared most of the stories/reports with Community Health. Further, as Catherine said, most of the information - including the information I “shared“ had been shared prior to my speaking to anyone at CEA, as confirmed via email by Julia Wise in August 2022. 

I called myself a "report taker" not a "report giver" or "report sharer" (I know this is a small distinction and I’m sorry for any confusion using it would cause) - and out of an abundance of caution and fear for survivor well-being and limiting my personal exposure to defamation, will not do so in the future. 

My intent with "calling out" Community Health in a forum  was in hope that they would take stronger action against rape. I felt that the forum was a more gentle approach than the media. Apologies for the harm Community Health felt in being called out by me. However, it feels to me that our approaches on rape diverge so greatly that there is no middle ground, and it is not productive for me to ask for stronger action. 

Agreed that it would not be productive to engage or to adjudicate any of my/Community Health's claims. When I realized that, I took down the original post. 

Good luck :)

I wouldn't put myself at risk of defamation by writing a post detailing SA in EA, nor do I want to speak for CH's take on this, which is why the evidence feels so scant. With SA, it'll always be hard to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, so even if I gave you some evidence, you could refute it.  

Also, this probably the post speaks more strongly to people who were following the post on the Time article (esp my posts) but doesn't make a lot of sense if you just dropped in now. 

Oh, don't see your post as an attack at all. From what little I know of RP, it doesn't feel to me that RP is right for this either since they're not community-facing and work more on research (though, who knows, two friends at RP said they might so I cc'd/included Peter - so I guess two people you know). Also, Peter & I exchanged a couple emails, and (I don't want to speak on Peter's behalf I'll be brief) - he said SA is something he spends a lot of time on, he wants to do what he thinks is best about SA, he asked what I'm looking to do, and the email I copied here is my response to that. I also copied Peter because I do feel frustrated with CH/feel - and who does one talk to about that? 

Also, I felt that the information I pointed out to Peter are relevant info for EAers to have (eg, about defamation), which is the main reason I included the email I sent to him here. 

AFTER I said that, both Catherine and Julia asked me to send survivors & bad actors their way. I found this really quite not okay. And you're right, that situation is not Peter's fault.

But also, I don't expect CH or RP to accept the proposal, and I'm not going to be bitter when Friday passes in continued silence.  Sending it was basically me saying - here's what I need in return for helping you. I have a 99% expectation that the answer is that EA (as a whole) would rather not have my help if it's conditioned upon reciprocity or admission of a problem. I wanted to state why I was leaving/discontinuing this work with EA,  give a number on assaults so more people would take it seriously (seems like I failed in that effort), and highlight my experience with CEA to show why I think rape will be ongoing problem. 

What you've described makes sense to me. As far as appropriate training (and also appropriate employer policies), I think that mandate would probably need to come from Open Philantrophy (the major EA funder) as a condition of its grants. I don't think either CEA or RP would have a great means of enforcing such a requirement. CEA could require training as a condition of attending one of its events . . . but the attendance at those events has been significantly cut due to budget constraints, so it would apply to only a fraction of the population. I would be a bit skeptical of on-line training unless supportive data were available; the people who most need to hear it would be the people most likely to be reading something unrelated in the background


Oh, I meant training for CH/in orgs, not people at large (especially the CH team, who deals with this stuff internally; I think a lot of the mishandling is due to a lack of information/training). And similarly,  most of the "policies" would mostly set the tone for deterrence, eg, having a "consent framework" and "suggestions for greater safety at events" isn't really an official employer policy, but sets the tone that non-consent isn't tolerated. 

Re: incapacitation, I doubt there's any way for EA/CEA/etc to get to incapacitation. But through my experiences with deterrence, EA/CEA/etc can dramatically lower the number of assaults. 

That's one of my big issues with the way things are now: you're basically suggesting what I'm suggesting - that things not be as arbitrary as they are now. 

No, my main complaint isn't the lack of payment; I was taking reports and speaking to survivors for years prior. What I didn't realize until two weeks ago is that the way in which CH used my work puts me at higher legal liability, so I want to replace it. My main complaint is that the orgs and the folks listed aren't knowledgable on the topic - while I'm sure are lovely humans in many regards - also aren't willing to admit that they're in over their heads and not experts on SA. I don't think it's malice, just - being overwhelmed, carelessness, bad communication, a lack of putting themselves in my shoes or survivor shoes, that sort of thing. Trying to gather more data makes sense, but trying to gather that data to see if it's worth CH's time/resources to take stronger action on SH/SA without addressing the inherent issues with the difficulty of obtaining such data is short-sighted at best, and from a moral standpoint, we should reduce sexual harassment/assault without first needing to see if the scope of the problem is greater than it is for other groups or not. 

My main things are: given that CH seems pretty antagonistic toward survivors or seeing that there's a problem and puts me at risk of legal liability (I guess payment is number 4). Creating a formal relationship with them would lower risk (some information is private, the flow of info from me to CH is better), and for CH, create conditions in which confidentiality exist. And if CH continues to be antagonistic toward survivors, then I'd rather not connect survivors to them. How can I possibly ever send survivors to talk to someone who says she needs to how the accused is beneficial to the movement to make any sort of judgement? I do genuinely want them to more survivor-friendly. I do want them to see that women are being harmed; especially because more trauma comes from mishandling rape cases than from rape itself*. But at the same time, I don't want to spend all that time working with CH without getting paid for my time, nor do I think it's a good idea to try to spend that time unless we have better communication between them & me. 

Definitely don't think you're promising anything! And tbh, I'm not sure how I feel about funding versus getting paid directly for doing work (thus far, I don't charge survivors for my work, and only in the past five months have been charging institutions). 


*this is from my experience in speaking to survivors, one of my mentor's 30+ years experiences in advocacy, and data (eg, survivors who file police reports experience PTSD at much higher rates than survivors who don't)

The problem with that is most accusers would want anonymity/privacy. This is why I suggest conveying information about processes through a policy (as I mentioned above, I was assaulted by someone "EA-adjacent", and had no idea where to report; and a policy is more fair to both the accusers and accusees), working with third parties that survivors can approach and CH can interface with, and disseminating only information intended to keep the community safe is the better approach. 

Yeah, they can be. I went through a brutal "restorative justice" process myself (I'm trained in traditional law, and at the time, was personally insulted that a bunch of hacks thought they could replace centuries of legal work/thought), with someone EA-adjacent (though I just confirmed that my rapist has some ties to EA via Google; he's one of the 14 and not 30) - I said no for weeks, had multiple people push into a process, went along because I wanted to tell my side, was silenced, and the "mediator" texted me to encourage me to kill myself before I left the country. Obviously, I'm not advocating for that. 

And also, I had no idea to report this to CH. Nor, given how CH is handling this, would I report this today.

Yeah, there aren't very many people with professional experience around SA. 

The proposal is pretty standard stuff (a policy defining consent, reporting process, banning, investigation, evaluation, suggestions for safer events - to ensure that neither survivors nor the accused are subject to arbitrary actions at the whim of the team); training sessions (sexual harassment is required by law in many states, as I'm sure you're well-aware...just that I'm more familiar w/EA and SA than the standard low-cost training - which research shows is not only ineffective but counter-intuitive in that it creates a backlash), a robust reporting system & dissemination (as underreporting is a hard problem; and using me isn't working for me so I'd rather develop something to replace me), and some survivor-friendly language and framing to encourage survivors to come forward. I imagine your professional experience is more relevant to this than most of the other commenters :)

I know the risk of defamation is low if I posted a description of the accused, but it's still not one I want to take - but I considered it because the "30" I mentioned ARE more connected with EA (eg, employees of orgs at the time of the incident, paper trails of orgs verifying that they're connected to these people) - but agreed that the decentralization and associated legal issues make this complex. But that complexity is also interesting IMO.

IMO, I feel like rape is increasingly adjudicated by public opinion rather than law. Given the parameters of the law, it's understandably very difficult to prove non-consent beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, the opinions and biases of juries and judges, eg, the judge in the Stanford rape case is a good example, but I feel like I come across similar opinions from presiding judges of "not ruining a young man's life" once a month or so. 

If you're interested, I found a lot of value in Alexandra Brodsky's Sexual Justice - she's a Yale-trained attorney who makes some great arguments about why we need other processes that aren't the legal system for dealing with this. 

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