CONSENT POLICY

All members of the Interfusion community have the right to feel safe and exercise their consent throughout the entire duration of their attendance of the festival. Therefore, all attendees must adhere to the Consent Code of Conduct at all times. Those who do not adhere to the Code of Conduct will be held accountable for their actions through a process outlined in the protocol section of this document. In the case of major incidents this may result in expulsion from festival grounds or legal action, as necessary. All incidents involving violations of the Consent Code of Conduct will be handled with compassionate care and professional integrity.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Interfusion Festival Consent Policy and Code of Conduct is to keep our community safe. In order to uphold standards of safety with integrity it is necessary to have guidelines and provide processes of accountability for our community. 

APPLICATION

The consent policy applies to everyone who enters festival grounds and engages in our activities including participants, artists, vendors, staff, and support personnel (including volunteers and contractors). By entering the Interfusion Festival grounds you are agreeing to the below consent code of conduct. 

IMPLEMENTATION

If a boundary-crossing or consent incident has taken place, please contact a member of our staff, volunteer team, or Consent Team as soon as possible. Once any member of the volunteer or staff are made aware of an incident the Interfusion Consent Team will be notified immediately.

You may also contact the Consent Team directly at consent@interfusionfestival.com for immediate assistance, or fill out an Incident Reporting Form online here, both during and after Interfusion Festival.

The Consent Team is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all members of our community, and will support individuals involved to report and address the situation with compassion and care. Once a consent incident has been documented and reported, the team will support individuals toward creating accountability, reconciliation, and restoration of safety.

CONSENT CODE OF CONDUCT

DEFINITION OF CONSENT

Consent is an empowered decision rooted in personal agency. It is the giving of permission or agreement to participate in an interaction or activity. Consent is active not static, which means that at any point during an activity or interaction, one’s consent may be withdrawn, even if it was given at the outset. Consent is given freely and wholeheartedly with autonomy; it is not hesitant, manipulated, or coerced. 

PRINCIPLES & PROTOCOLS FOR ENGAGING WITH CONSENT

Interfusion is committed to creating a safe haven of creativity and personal growth for all participants. Here are our community consent rules of etiquette, or Code of Conduct, so everyone feels safe and at choice.

  1. Consent First: All participants must receive explicit verbal or non-verbal consent before any interaction that involves physical contact.
  2. Yes & No: “Yes” means yes. Hesitation or “maybe” means “no” or there’s something to clarify.
  3. Check In: Check in during any physical activity for another “Yes”. Ask questions, talk, or clarify when ambiguous (e.g. Do you feel safe? Does that feel good? Do you want to continue?).
  4. Consent Resets: A “yes” once does not mean “yes” in the future. Don’t make assumptions.
  5. Be Attentive: Respecting consent even in the absence of words. Watch for cues in body language which may communicate that someone is hesitant or uncomfortable with an interaction (i.e. averting eyes, nervous laughter, frowning, non-response). If you pick up any cues, check in and ask for clarification.
  6. Say Stop: Want an interaction to end but you don’t know what to say? Use the word STOP.  The word stop is understood to mean you want an interaction to end.
  7. Compliance: If someone says STOP to you, that means your interaction ends immediately.
  8. Respect Individual Agency: Do not try to convince, coerce, or manipulate another person to engage with you in an activity or interaction when their answer is “maybe”, “no”, or “stop”.
  9. Communicate: It is encouraged to talk about what just happened with the individual to build and spread awareness. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, tell others what happened and talk to a consent team member right away. The community and consent team are here to help.
  10. Contact: Contact a consent team member if you think you may have crossed someone’s boundaries, had your boundaries crossed, or gotten into a questionable situation around consent. Contact the security team for serious violations and immediate threats. Use the Incident Reporting Form to report after festival hours.

If you see or experience consent behavior that is inappropriate or out of line, report it immediately. The consent team aims to catch consent breakdowns as soon as possible, so we can prevent more serious violations (e.g. physical coercion, you’ve said STOP more than once, you feel unsafe).

If any person, or group of persons, violates or is not in accordance with these Code of Conduct policies, they may be escorted out of the festival grounds, expelled from future events, and/or released to authorities.

CONSENT INCIDENT PROTOCOLS

There are various types of boundary-crossings; however, for the purposes of our protocols and procedures we will place them into two basic categories: minor and major consent incidents. 

DEFINITIONS OF CONSENT INCIDENT

Minor Consent Incident: Not checking-in, or accidentally overstepping boundaries. This generally involves a dynamic where there was an ambiguity in what the participants’ boundaries were. Interactions proceeded in the absence of a clear “yes” or “no”.  The person whose boundary was crossed may not have had the opportunity or ability to articulate that they were not comfortable with an interaction before it happened, leaving them feeling uncomfortable, violated, or unsafe.  

Major Consent Incident: A forceful crossing of boundaries after explicitly being told “no,” either verbally or nonverbally. A violation of this sort is characterized by an attempted overpowering of an individual - of their ability to leave the situation or to set their own physical personal boundaries easily, freely, and with personal agency. This may include (but is not limited to): harassment, assault, or abuse. In the case of violations of sexual consent it may include: fondling or unwanted touching up to and including penetration, or forcing someone to perform physical or sexual acts of any kind.

ACCOUNTABILITY & RECONCILIATION FOR CONSENT INCIDENTS

At Interfusion we work with the ‘4 A’s of Accountability’: a framework for addressing consent incidents and creating accountability, reconciliation, and restoration of safety for our participants.  

Acknowledgement: Both parties are encouraged to acknowledge that a boundary was crossed and, if possible, to establish an account of the consent incident that both parties can agree is accurate. 

Apology: The person who crossed the boundary is encouraged to give an appropriate apology to the person whose boundary was crossed. In the case of minor consent incidents, this step may be enough to bring about reconciliation.

Amends: If appropriate, we will encourage the person who crossed the boundary to make amends or in some way make up for the damages caused to the person whose boundary was crossed.

For example if damage was caused to a physical item they owned, amends could consist of paying the cost of its replacement. If there was injury caused to the body, amends could consist of offering to pay relevant medical costs. In the case of major violations, perhaps providing resources for the person to have access to therapy or counselling with a service provider of their choice. 

Regardless of the degree or nature of the amends being made, the person whose boundary was crossed has the right to decide what would be helpful or unhelpful, not the person who crossed the boundary. 

Action: The person who stepped over the boundary of consent commits to take action to change their behaviour or mentality in some way so that they do not repeat the mistake of crossing the boundary in a similar circumstance in the future. This requires the person to consider what they could have done differently to prevent the consent incident from taking place, and committing to adjusting their behavior in the future. 

For example, in the case of a minor consent incident, it may be a commitment to being more attentive when engaging in physical activities. In the case of a major consent incident, it may be committing to seek professional help, training, or therapy of some sort.

At each stage, the person whose boundary has been crossed will be consulted to see if they would like to go to the next stage or if they are content and feel supported sufficiently with the stage we have reached. (i.e. Is acknowledgement enough or do we need to move toward an apology? If yes, is an apology enough or should we seek amends? Would amends be enough or should we seek action?).

REPORTING CONSENT INCIDENTS - DURING THE EVENT

The Interfusion Consent Team and Security Members will be available to receive and address reports of any consent or boundary crossing situations and incidents of inappropriate behavior. Consent Team Members will be identified by red armbands and lanyards.

Minor Consent Incident Protocols:

First Minor Incident: A Consent team member or staff person will speak to both parties and encourage a conversation toward reconciliation and restoration of safety using the 4-A’s of Accountability model. Consent team or staff will also debrief with each party to ensure they are in a stable emotional and psychological state and can safely continue to participate at the event.

Second Minor Incident: The person who has violated Interfusion’s Consent Code of Conduct for the second time will have their participation in the festival’s activities suspended immediately.

In order for the suspension to be lifted:

A successful reconciliation conversation between both parties using the 4-A’s of Accountability model must take place.

Interfusion team must also be able to determine reasonably that the individuals are in a stable emotional and psychological state, and can safely continue to participate at the event, without other participants feeling unsafe.

If a second minor violation is reported during the festival, the Consent Directors will be notified immediately. 

Third Minor Violation: The person who has violated Interfusion’s Consent Code of Conduct for the third time will be asked to leave, and not allowed back into the event. In the case of a third minor offense, either at one event or across many, Interfusion may decide to restrict that individual from future access to Interfusion events. 

If a Third Minor Violation is reported at a Interfusion Festival or event, the Consent Directors will be notified immediately.

Major Consent Violation Protocols:

First Major Incident: The person who has violated Interfusion’s Consent Code of Conduct will be asked to leave. Legal action may be considered. Lifetime expulsion from all Interfusion Festival events may be considered. An Interfusion team or staff will spend time with the person whose consent was violated to ensure the person is in a stable emotional and psychological state and can safely continue to participate at the event. 

If a Major Incident is reported at a Interfusion Festival or event, the Consent Directors will need to be notified immediately. Interfusion staff will provide the person whose boundaries were crossed with resources and information to cope with the incident and to file a report with police officials, if they so wish.

Depending on the judged emotional state of the person whose boundaries were crossed, Interfusion staff may encourage them to leave the event and put necessary support structures in place in order to successfully stabilize and integrate the incident.     

All minor and major consent incidents reported will be documented in writing.

REPORTING CONSENT INCIDENTS - AFTER THE EVENT

If you experienced or witnessed a consent incident (i.e. boundary-crossing, harassment, consent violation) at an Interfusion festival or event, you have the option to report the incident after the festival or event has ended. Please use this Incident Reporting Form.

First, second, or third Minor Incident: When a Minor Consent Incident is reported post-event, Interfusion staff will reach out to the person who has violated Interfusion’s Consent Code of Conduct and inform them of the report. Whether this is the first, second or third Minor Incident reported will determine the course of action that is needed. 

Interfusion staff should follow the corresponding (first, second, or third incident) Minor Incident protocol listed above, if the person would like to continue to attend Interfusion festivals or events in the future. A third Minor Incident reported (including post-event) may result in Interfusion’s decision to restrict the person who has violated Interfusion’s Consent Code of Conduct from future events. Interfusion will also follow up with the person whose boundary was crossed to inform them of Consent Incident protocols and offer support resources such as:

Outside mediation and therapy recommendations; and
Mediation time with Interfusion Consent team if desired.

Major Consent Incident: When a Major Incident is reported post-event, legal action may be considered and taken. Lifetime expulsion of the person who has committed a Major Consent Incident from all future Interfusion festivals and events may be considered. A Consent team or staff member will follow up with the person whose boundary was crossed within 48 hours of receiving the report, to discuss Major Consent Incident protocols. Interfusion team or staff will reach out again one week following the initial report to check in with the person whose boundary was crossed and answer any questions or provide additional resources. 

Public Comment & Questions

Make your voice heard and help spread a culture of consent.  For comments, recommendations or questions contact our team.

Policy Contact Information
Indigo Dawn & Sarah Taub
Consent Team Co-Directors
consent@interfusionfestival.com