Pioneer Valley Roller Derby has been carefully following the recent developments in the ongoing discussion regarding sexual assault and sexual violence in roller derby. Many of our members have been personally vocal about their experiences and the need for systemic changes in our community; we support our survivors speaking their truths and encourage everyone to read the stories collected at It Happens In Derby. We have also determined that it’s time for our organization, as a whole, to share our stance and the steps we have put into place over the past few years to further our mission to be an inclusive community that does not tolerate sexual violence.
PVRD is committed to fostering, in our league and in derby, an active consent culture. We believe in supporting survivors; we believe in comprehensive and pro-active policies around violence, sexual violence, and misuse of authority; we believe in making space for speaking up, not silencing; we believe in the multiplicity of survivor experiences and the complexity of trauma, and reject the “good victim” catch-22 and any invalidation of survivor narratives based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or ability; we believe in due process according to the best practices of trauma-informed policy; we reject the narrative that because we play a physical and contact sport, this entitles fellows players, coaches, officials, or other community members to access to anyone’s body outside of the strict confines of that sport. We believe that roller derby’s culture of empowerment, queerness, and quirkiness, can—and MUST—also be a culture of care and justice.
If you are a guest of PVRD, or a member of our community, please be aware that we have implemented an internal grievances policy. If you are concerned about your safety in PVRD spaces, or if you have an experience with a member of the PVRD community that you believe needs to be addressed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story is important to us and we will do our utmost to engage with you openly and respectfully.
Our Board of Directors will also be reviewing our knowledge and capacities as an organization, with an eye towards engaging outside expertise to improve our ability to be proactive and informed regarding issues of sexual violence. Pioneer Valley Roller Derby is committed to being a community that is free from violence in all of its forms, and supporting the larger roller derby community in eradicating sexual violence from the sport.