Monday, April 16, 2012

H is for Sexual Abuse

Yes, that's right "H" is for Sexual Abuse, in fact, every letter in the alphabet should be.

Just like most other Wiccans, I face a lot of false assumptions about our religious beliefs and practices. Most of those assumptions are related to Satanism or Charmed-ism. Given the choice I would prefer those false assumptions over the ones of an inappropriate sexual nature. And thankfully, they are few and far between.
It's no secret that the origins of Wicca are steeped in nudity, sexuality and fertility, nor is it or has it ever been a concern of mine personally. Wicca has grown, changed and evolved significantly in a very short time. Our Tradition openly declares itself as an American Tradition with an Independent Lineage. While we honor our Magical predecessors and acknowledge the validity of their work, we do things a bit differently. But regardless of tradition, lineage or lack thereof, there are certain behaviors that are unacceptable under any circumstances.

While there are many other mainstream monotheistic religions which have a long record of sexual abuse, cover up and scandal, I firmly believe that we should strive to stay on point, and not defer or deter our issues with the "but look at them" digression.

The simple fact is that there appears to be a slow but steady increase in Wicca related sexual abuse / misconduct allegations. Someone told me there are hundreds if not thousands of these allegations all the time, which are not Wiccan related, and I agree, but I'm not talking about those, I'd like to acknowledge the ones that are Wicca related, because as a Wiccan, they bother me.

One of my favorite Pagan Authors is Brendan Myers. While there are many Pagan Scholars (scholars of Paganism), I favor the Scholars who are Pagans, like Brendan. (and by the way A Pagan Testament is a must read!) It was about two years ago this Beltane that Brendan drafted The Pagan Community Statement on Sexual Abuse. I think that we as a [Pagan] community need to acknowledge and address these type of issues and take proactive preventative measures to spread awareness. One way to do this is to simply post the Statement on your or you group website.

Our organization has had an active public web presence for over seven years now, and in that time we have been contacted by some interesting people and have received some interesting emails. Most of these emails pertained in some way shape or form to the topic and interest of whether or not we do rituals Skyclad. Since we have posted the Community statement, we have not received a single communication on the subject. While I do not mean to associate Skyclad rituals with sexual abuse or misconduct, it appears (sadly) that a not so surprisingly large amount a people do associate Skyclad rituals with Sex.

The Pagan Community Statement sends a simple and clear message. One that needs to be repeated over and over again, ad infinitum

Thank you Lord & Lady for my Ritual Robes. Blessed Be.

1 comment:

JadedMoon said...

That is a good staement, I posted it on my blog as well. I'm with you on this, it shouldn't be happening and needs to be stopped.