Prior to making a report, please read the following so you understand the process.  The report is located at the end of this page.


APEX takes our club culture, code of conduct, rules, and etiquette seriously.  If you believe someone is violating the code of conduct and it is beyond your ability to handle yourself,  we ask that you report it to APEX event staff or management directly at the time. If that isn’t possible, please email EC@arizonapowerexchange.org. If this is your first time reporting information in this way, please read below so that you can understand the process, and know where this information goes and how it is handled.

APEX management can only respond to and act upon reports given by members of APEX about members of APEX of activities that happen at APEX events (whether on the premises or not). 

Anonymous reports will be reviewed but cannot be used as the basis for taking action by management since we are not able to make follow-up inquiries or verify current membership of all parties involved.

 If you need immediate help, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673) from anywhere in the US, or call 202.544.3064 to reach the RAINN business office.  FAQ about this hotline here: https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

What is a consent violation?

Consent Definition:

Explicit Prior Permission for BDSM activities must be given in advance, in writing or verbally, and must specifically identify the acts agreed upon.  Permission is “explicit” when you discuss and agree upon the following during negotiations BEFORE you start the scene, play or activity:

  1. Specific acts being done, including whether there will be touching of the breasts and genitals
  2. Discussion of risks and intensity (Regardless, you can’t seriously injure someone even if they consent.)
  3. Everyone is an adult and able to consent. No one involved in the scene is under the influence of any mind-altering substance, in subspace or otherwise incapacitated 
  4. Established safeword or signal to end the scene, even if practicing Consensual Non-Consent (CNC)
  5. What verbal resistance did you agree it was okay to ignore during roleplay or power exchange?
  6. Other considerations: Who is involved in the scene? Where will the activities take place?

Based on the above definition, a consent violation is any behavior during the scene or play that is outside the negotiated and agreed-upon activities. 

If the behavior is not a consent violation during the scene, play or activity, it is not a consent violation after the fact.  This does not imply that consent cannot be revoked at any time for any reason.

Best Practices for Consent to Kink

  1. All activities must receive Explicit Prior Permission by verbal or written agreement rather than through gestures, body language or past behavior.
  2. Informed consent requires a discussion of the risks involved in the activity and the steps that are needed to reduce those risks including: study, training, technique, and practice.
  3. Everyone should fully understand both the desires and the boundaries of the other participants.
  4. Everyone should freely consent to who will be involved prior to beginning.
  5. Everyone is free to withdraw prior consent at any time during the activity.
  6. Everyone should have an agreed upon word or signal (called a “safe word”) to clearly express their desire to stop, even if it’s simply “stop” or “no.”
  7. Consent must be freely given, and not coerced, forced or manipulated from someone.
  8. Each person should understand everyone’s limitations or barriers to their ability to consent to the planned activities, such as age, diminished mental capacity, or use of drugs or alcohol.
  9. Don’t re-negotiate in the middle of your scene unless it is to reject activities that were previously agreed to. A person who is in an altered state of mind may not be able to give informed consent.
  10. Anything that results in serious bodily injury or that goes beyond the expectations of one of the participants may be deemed criminal, even where consent was given. Serious bodily injury, as defined by the Model Penal Code on Sexual Assault, means injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. Even if you adhere to all of our Best Practices, you may be violating criminal law. These practices are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.

APEX Code of Conduct

Our membership Code of Conduct is a short, straightforward list of rules and examples that define how we expect our members to engage with others. These policies are communicated in New Member Orientation to every single individual who applies to our club. All applicants are given the opportunity to ask clarifying questions.  If any applicant chooses to opt-out of agreeing to these terms, that’s fine — their application will be rejected, and they will not be permitted to join our club or attend our events but could choose to re-apply in the future. We expect members to uphold these values at all APEX events, both on and off-site.

What happens when the rules are broken?

Once management has been made aware of broken rules, either via report or observation, any one of the following may occur:

  • Nothing (if it is determined that no violation occurred).
  • Coaching on the rule broken for understanding
  • A private reprimand from the EC to the individual(s) involved.
  • Reorientation with a member of the EC of Committee and discussion about the code of conduct
  • An imposed vacation (i.e. asking someone to “Take some time away”).
  • A temporary ban from APEX
  • Revocation of Membership
  • Ban of the Member (ban means they are not welcome at events open to the public either)

What is a “report?”

A report is a first-hand statement about events that happened that involved you. A report is NOT a third party getting themselves involved. If a third party lets us know about an incident concerning to them, we need to speak with the person(s) affected before considering it a report. (This avoids confusion over kinky stuff like consensual non-consent, or an honest miscommunication between people who trust each other enough to handle it on their own.)

  • A person directly involved in a situation reports that situation to a member of APEX leadership/management, Dungeon Monitor, or via online report.
  • If you are a witness to what you believe to be a rule violation, and do not wish to have a conversation with the member to help them understand the rules of the club, please report it to management. 
  • If you believe the presumed rule violator to be a danger to the members, the club, or the club’s culture, contact management immediately.
  • A person fills out the online reporting form (Submitting this form will send an email to the Executive Committee with your responses).  All reports are held in confidence.
  • You may fill out the online form anonymously, however we will not be able to act on it or follow up on the information contained. 
  • All reports are confidential and will only be discussed with those named in the report for the purpose of gathering information and answering clarifying questions.
  • Because ALL members of APEX are due confidentiality, the report, follow-up, and final decision made will not be made public and may not be shared with all involved parties.
  • The reported incident, in order to be reviewed by our management team, must be recent (within the last six months).  If the incident happened outside that time frame, you may still report it, but we may not be able to find witness statements or gather the information necessary to verify details.  (Excluding criminal/violent convictions.)

What happens after the report is made?

Once a consent violation or incident has been reported to us, or witnessed by APEX management:

  1. Management will send a notification to the member that we have a report and action is required on their part to hopefully resolve the situation. At this stage, we may decide that temporary suspension from the club, while we gather information, is necessary, but it is in no way a presumption of wrong-doing.
  2. Next, management schedules a call with the reported member(s) and 2 or more APEX managers. We will try to schedule the first call with the member(s) making the report, and later calls with those reported. We will talk with all members involved individually.  If email communication is preferred, we will accept emails in lieu of phone calls.  It is important to remember that all communications will be confidential, and all members involved are required by APEX Code of Conduct to maintain confidentiality.
  3. If needed, we may schedule additional calls with the original reporter(s) for clarifying information.
  4. Based on the information we gather from the reporter(s) and the person(s) reported, we will make a decision about whether the actions violate our Code of Conduct or otherwise cause harm and discord to this community. Our goals here are, in order:
    • Prevent continued damage to the reporting party
    • Prevent damage to other club members in the future.
    • Be fair to all involved.

Notably, we are not attempting to ensure reconciliation between the parties involved. We are not in the business of rehabilitation, though it's nice when that happens, and we can point people to resources if it is requested. We cannot take on the responsibility of getting a victim redress or reprisal. We are here to keep our members safe, to help the community grow and to hold everyone accountable for their actions, fairly, according to APEX Code of Conduct.  APEX is not a law enforcement agency, nor does it have law enforcement capabilities. We can only control what happens within our own walls.  Within our walls, APEX will be happy to assist those experiencing harassment or difficulties to feel safe for the duration of the event.  Outside of APEX, we can only provide resources to law enforcement services to help resolve those issues.

  1. If management feels club policies have been violated, we’ll try to determine whether or not the person(s) reported intended to violate those rules, understand the reasons why they are in violation, and are willing and capable of learning how to change to prevent something like this from happening again.
    • If so, we’ll attempt to work with them toward that goal.
    • If not, further coaching, reprimand or even suspension or expulsion from the club may be appropriate depending on the severity of the infraction.

A key goal throughout this process is to ensure that any person who feels they have had their consent violated or have been made to feel unsafe or harassed has a space to speak about it and knows that their safety is important and valued. In our experience, a few key things keep this cycle going:

  • Reporters need to know that they’re not “rocking the boat” by speaking about an event or behavior which made them feel uncomfortable. In some systems, people won’t report incidents because they “don’t want to get anyone kicked out over this,” and it’s important to be able to talk about those issues openly.
  • Reporters need to know their reports are confidential. Often for non-consent violations/incidents, identifying the behavior is enough.
  • Reporters need to remember that if they are experiencing a behavior from another member that makes them feel uncomfortable, then it’s possible that others are experiencing the same.
    • Note: There is a difference between feeling uncomfortable when witnessing a scene or play and feeling uncomfortable during an interaction with an individual. For the former, members are expected to accept personal responsibility for their experience and remove themselves from the situation.  For the latter, reporting may be appropriate if the member’s communicated boundaries are not being respected.
  • Reporters need to know that they can talk about how an incident made them feel, regardless of who is involved; no one should feel like they can’t say something because “I’m new, and this person has been around for years” or “The person involved is in management, so nothing will happen.”

Technically, the rules weren’t broken, but…

Sometimes, we don't get reports. We get whispers. Mostly, because there's someone pushing the limits but not quite breaking the rules, and members do not want to cause drama or get someone else in trouble. They feel uncertain of their own experience. At APEX, we still want to know if something is troubling, or if a member is pushing the line.  Oftentimes, a quick conversation can alter the behavior. 

If we hear one whisper about you, we are going to keep our eyes and ears open for more but assume nothing more about you. If we hear a few more whispers, you’re on our radar and we are going to be having a conversation about why you’re on our radar.  How members choose to participate in this process will determine next steps. 

If we talk with you and you are receptive to making changes, that’s all anyone can ask for.  If not, or if you choose belligerence, we may escalate the process and discuss whether or not you’re a good fit for the club.  Remember, as a private membership club, not everyone may be a good fit and we have the right to revoke membership if we deem it appropriate.

Our Code of Conduct outlines the minimum requirements for remaining a member in good standing in our club. Nobody should be left feeling violated in any way by another member of our club. If one of our members has caused you to feel hurt, violated, or unsafe, please talk to us. It can be healing just to talk to someone about how you feel.

Can I make an anonymous report?

Yes. We do require reports be first-hand reports, and not come through a friend or other third party. You can fill out this form to provide us with an anonymous first-hand report.  Please remember that we cannot act on anonymous reports.  Without confirmation that all parties involved are APEX members, we are limited in our ability to respond. 

What happens after the report is made?

We will reach out to the reporter to schedule a time to talk on the phone. When possible, we like to have more than one manager on these intake calls, to make sure that we don’t miss any details or misunderstand anything.

We’ll ask you to set aside about 30-45 minutes in a location where you can speak freely, and tell us what happened. We will listen, and we will take notes for our own reference. We may ask a few clarifying questions, such as “do you know this person’s name” or “could you describe this person to me” to make sure we correctly understand what you say. We will never ask you to explain your actions, or put you on the defensive. We want to hear your account of what happened, and we want to understand your experience of those events. How did this affect you when it happened? How is it affecting you now?

We’ll also ask you what course of action you need to feel safe, well, and whole again. An apology? File a police report?  Mediation? Distance from this person at events? No action required?  We cannot guarantee that our final decision will give this to you, but we will take your responses into consideration.

You can ask that your report remain confidential from the party you are reporting, and we will do our best to accommodate this, however depending upon the incident, it may interfere with our ability to act upon your report.   

Both the reporter and the subject of the report are entitled to confidentiality as members of APEX.  We will inform you when your report is completed, and we may inform you of the outcome of your report at our discretion.  Please remember that all APEX members are required to maintain confidentiality about other members including the reporter.   This means, as the reporter (or the reportee) you may not discuss this report with others, or disclose the report on social media.  You are free to discuss your experience.  Please remember that it is membership jeopardizing to name other APEX members, so any social media posts should remain anonymous and only discuss your experience.

What happens if a manager has violated club rules?

APEX Management is comprised of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.  These individuals should be knowledgeable about APEX Code of Conduct and have the responsibility to the club and its members to uphold and enforce those rules and conduct.  While APEX Management is comprised of members, they should be aware of the rules and therefore violations are treated with less tolerance.  We deal with all reports about management seriously and swiftly. 

To avoid potential conflicts of interest, any report about one of the management team will be forwarded to a neutral third party who is knowledgeable about APEX club dynamics, reporting process, and trusted by all parties.

The same process described above is used, with two changes. The manager will not be included in the intake call or any other conversations about the situation, other than the call we would schedule with them as we would schedule with any reported party. Also, we will not immediately remove that manager from the club unless a final decision is reached that this person should be removed permanently.  However, depending on the severity of the incident, this person may be suspended from events until we reach a resolution. 

The neutral third party will gather information and make recommendations to either the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee.  If the reported party is on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee will make the final decision.  If the reported party is on the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors will make the final decision.

Depending upon the severity of the violation, one or more of the following may occur:

  • Coaching on appropriate behavior or handling of the situation
  • A temporary suspension of duties
  • A temporary suspension from the club
  • Removal from Management Team
  • Removal from membership
  • Ban from all APEX events

What happens if someone reports me?

Immediately after our call with the reporter, we will contact and inform you that we have a report and action is required on your part to resolve the situation.  Depending upon the severity, we may temporarily suspend you from the club while we gather information, and determine if you can be readmitted. We’ll set up a time for a call between management and you.

This call will be respectful, non-judgmental, and we will listen to your experience and make sure you feel heard. 

Our first goal is to gain alignment on the events — the nouns and verbs, without the adverbs and adjectives that define someone’s experience of those events. Do you agree with the events as they have been explained to us? 

If we don’t all agree on the events that took place, we may schedule additional calls with the original reporter(s) for clarifying information. If you and the reporter mutually agree on the events, then we listen to your experience of those events — how did you feel at the time, how do you feel now, and how is this impacting you?

Our secondary goal is to provide a nurturing environment that permits people to learn from their mistakes. Is there a version of events where all parties involved can understand each other? Where is the disconnect between your experiences of these events happening, and can this be resolved in a way that satisfies everyone? If so, we will do our best to mediate that resolution. 

Our primary goal is always the health and safety of our community. We will act based on the severity of the events and whether or not we believe your actions violated our Code of Conduct. 

  • Please note: If you have been reported for a consent violation and you choose not to participate in the reporting process, interview, etc., the process will continue without your participation, however, you will be summarily and permanently suspended from membership and your ability to reapply will be revoked. 

I’ve been banned from APEX.

We get it — the situation sucks, and you’re upset. First, we know you’re not a bad person. Nobody is a “bad” person.  We’re all just people doing the best we can. (Even Mother Teresa probably kissed a few babies without their explicit consent.) APEX Management are also just people, upholding our Code of Conduct to the best of our ability. We guarantee that if we’ve already gone through this entire process and found no way to resolve it without removing you from membership, we have not done so lightly.  We’re okay with a slight margin of error on who we remove from membership. We have zero margin for error for allowing people who cause harm and discord to our community to stay. Our Code of Conduct details the minimum requirements for being a successful member of APEX. We are a private membership club and being a member is a privilege, not a right. If you’ve been banned from the club, and you participated in the reporting and interview process and believe our decision is incorrect, you have the right to appeal. 

All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases, we may determine that a public statement will need to be made. If that's the case, the identities of all victims and reporters will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise.

If this issue goes beyond our walls, and believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will provide you with resources.

In your report please include:

  • Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up)
  • Names (real, nicknames, and pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please include them as well.  If you aren’t certain of names, a physical description of the member is helpful.
  • When and where the incident occurred.  Date, approximate time, and location inside the club or off-premises.
  • Your account of what occurred. If there is a publicly available record include a link.
  • Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is ongoing.
  • Any other information you believe we should have including who you have contacted and told about this incident.

What happens after you file a report?

You will receive an email acknowledging receipt immediately. We promise to acknowledge receipt within 24 hours (and will aim for much quicker than that).

The working group will immediately meet to review the incident and determine:

  • What happened.
  • Whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation.
  • Who the bad actor was.
  • Whether this is an ongoing situation, or if there is a threat to anyone's physical safety.

If this is determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to physical safety, the working groups' immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an "official" response until we believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is physically safe.

Once the working group has a complete account of the events, they will make a recommendation as to how to respond. Recommendations may include:

  • Nothing (if they determine no violation occurred).
  • A private reprimand from the EC to the individual(s) involved.
  • Reorientation with a member of the EC of Committee and discussion about the code of conduct
  • An imposed vacation (i.e. asking someone to “Take some time away”).
  • A temporary ban from APEX
  • Revocation of Membership
  • Ban of the Member (ban means they are not welcome at events open to the public either)

The Executive Committee will be available to hear/act on recommendations within one week.

The Committee will respond within 10 days to the person who filed the report with either a resolution or an update if more time is required to gather information.

Once the EC accepts the recommendation of final action, the Committee may contact the original reporter to let them know what action (if any) we'll be taking. We'll take into account feedback from the reporter on the appropriateness of our response, but we don't guarantee we'll act on it.

Finally, the EC will make a report on the situation to the Board of Directors.

Appealing

Only permanent resolutions (such as bans) may be appealed. To appeal a decision of the EC, contact the EC at EC@ArizonaPowerExchange.org 

Need help right now?

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Incident Reporting and Response


NCSF is a resource for the members of the kink, polyamory and Lifestyle communities and for people seeking information about them.  If you engage in BDSM, fetishes or non-monogamy practices, and you are being persecuted or discriminated against because of it, please contact NCSF.

  • If you need help removing kink or non-monogamy as a barrier to public services, please contact NCSF.
  • If your group or business needs help with outreach to local officials, please contact NCSF.
  • If you or your group needs help with a consent violation or sexual assault, please contact NCSF.

Click Here to Reach the NCSF’s Incident Reporting and Response

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