Behaviour Agreement

Purpose

To assist the PolySA community maintain acceptable on-line behaviours towards each other and the broader community in general.

Introduction

In late 2012 it was requested by several people from the PolySA community that a set of rules or Agreements (to use the common Polyamory terminology) be established to assist all members understand the best way to interact in the group. These Agreements have been adapted from PolyVic (Melbourne) after much debate and are recommended to be adopted by PolySA (commencing January 10, 2013).

Expectations

Respect and Acceptance

We ask that all group members treat each other with respect and acceptance regarding sexuality diversity, gender identification, racial and cultural background, lifestyle and relationship style choices or any other real or perceived differences. We value solid discussions and you are welcome to your opinions and please express them with respect to all others.

Emotional Safety and Responsibility

It is the intention of the group to create and hold a safe and supportive space for each other. We ask that if something is expressed in the group that you find offensive or emotionally unsafe, whether directed at you or someone else, that you take responsibility for your own safety and speak up about it.

If you are able to, communicate directly to the person/s concerned as soon as possible after the occurrence. If you feel unable to do that, communicate with a friend, member of the PolySA committee or direct to Polly (Group Administrator). A list of committee members and their email addresses can be found below. We also encourage you to be prepared to gently educate others in the group about issues in which you have more knowledge or experience than they do, rather than blame, shame and flame.

Gossip

PolySA is a small, non-mainstream community. Negative gossip can do a lot of damage to a community like this. We encourage everyone to deal forthrightly with issues and not to spread damaging rumours about other people. There’s a difference between talking to your friends about your genuine relationship issues and making pronouncements to a group of relative strangers.

Confidentiality

Without fail all group members must honour the need and practice confidentiality between group members and the outside world. To do this, any names, events, issues or identifying details of anyone or anything may not be mentioned to anyone outside the discussion and/or the group.

Sensitivity

A person never really knows what another person is feeling or going through at any given time, no matter how close they may be to each other. Do your best to be aware of where other people are at emotionally or in their life situation.

Remember that what works for one person may not work for another so no matter how well meaning, use caution if giving someone advice where you are not qualified to do so. Often sharing your own experience (using ‘I statements’) offers a more valuable experience to the person receiving it rather than being told what to do from your world perspective.

Consequences

All actions in life lead to consequences, some good and some not good. Any breach of any of the Expectations (above) will result in the group administrator or a PolySA committee member immediately removing the offender from the group and have their profile banned from re-entry. Online sites make it very clear that rules need to be followed and owners of the sites may also shut-down profiles of their own accord if they observe rule breaches too.

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