Community Accountability

What is it and why do we need it

Community accountability is a community-based strategy to address violence. It is a process in which a community work together to do the following things:

  • Create and affirm values and practices that resist abuse and oppression and encourage safety, support, and accountability
  • Develop strategies to address abusive behavior of community members and help them to transform their behavior
  • Work on the evolution of the community and all its members, to transform the political conditions that reinforce oppression and violence
  • Provide safety and support to community members who are violently targeted with respect to their self-determination

🚨 Speaking up device

Speaking up form

Members and non members can speak up via a form available on https://www.lvrsnfrnds.com/speakup. The form makes it clear that the information provided will be directly and solely communicated to LVRSNFRNDS founder and asks the following from the person wishing to speak up:

  • Name and email address of the person speaking up
  • Identity or description of the member who did harm
  • What happened?

It is reinforced with this last question that 'Our stance is that [the person speaking up] feelings are always valid. What might seem minor to [them] may be part of a larger pattern of behavior that has affected many members.

Members ad hoc committee

An ad hoc committee of 6 members is called by LVRSNFRNDS founder via the app general feed to address what happened. It is key that members:

  • represent a diverse range of identities and experiences,
  • are not related to any protagonists in what happened,
  • respect at all time the privacy of the matters discussed.

⚙️ Process

  1. LVRSNFRNDS founder receives an email with the data shared by the member speaking up and contacts on the spot the person to gather as many information as possible and identify what would be a satisfying outcome for them, the member who did harm and our community.
  2. The members ad hoc committee is called in a video meeting to discuss the matter, information gathered by LVRSNFRNDS founder and come up with a plan to be submitted to the person who's spoken up for a final go before it is implemented.
  3. Once the plan implemented, the matter and the chosen community response are documented anonymously, shared with all protagonists, archived to support the treatment of matters and a communication is made community-wide.

📏 Key principles

This document is shared with all protagonists to make sure they have an extensive knowledge of our accountability process.

The identity of all people involved must be kept strictly secret at all time. Pseudonyms are used in conversations and documents.

If the plan involves a discussion with the member who did harm:

  • this will be addressed by LVRSNFRNDS founder and another member chosen based on the member intersections,
  • the member intersections will be shared to the member ad hoc committee only once the plan of actions has been clearly decided to avoid bias;
  • the focus will not be to establish the truth but to assess the reaction of the member who did harm;
  • communication is clearly established as a conversation that is not punitive and non-judgmental;
  • the member who did harm will be given 7 days to arrange the discussion to happen, if not, they will be suspended until further action is taken.

Group support is offered to any member involved in the process.

Possible outcomes for the member who did harm are a warning or their membership revoked.

This is a living document, and subject to refinement and expansion in the future. Direct message us if you would like to help us improve it.

Last update December 21, 2020 - changed the copy from "report" to "speak up".