The National Leather Association: International's Statement on Domestic Violence

The National Leather Association: International has called on the Leather SM Fetish community to take the lead in reducing domestic violence through education.

No group is free of domestic battering and abuse, but fear, denial, and lack of knowledge have slowed public response to this serious problem.

The NLA is committed to reducing this violence by attempting:

1. to show that community action can reduce domestic violence,

2. to hold batterers accountable for choosing to be violent; to encourage victims to take legal action; to deny that drug and alcohol abuse alone excuse battering; and to encourage the batterer to seek treatment and the victim to seek support;

3. to listen and support those who had the courage to tell us-to help them end their shame and isolation;

4. to educate the legal and social service systems about the difference between consensual SM and domestic violence and to encourage their appropriate intervention;

5. to take the responsibility for educating our community about the forms of domestic abuse and their extent and severity; and

6. to promote information about where to get help.

Domestic violence takes many forms; physical abuse, isolation, outright or subtle psychological and emotional abuse, economic control, sexual abuse and the destruction of personal property. Non-consensual manipulation, terror and assault are not part of SM.

The NLA advocates relationships and friendships based on personal responsibility, honesty and integrity in which power and pleasure derive from mutual respect.