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Reflections on Crafting an Ayahuasca Community Guide for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse

Peluso, Daniela, Sinclair, Emily, Labate, Beatriz, Cavnar, Clancy (2020) Reflections on Crafting an Ayahuasca Community Guide for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 4 (1). pp. 24-33. E-ISSN 2559-9283. (doi:10.1556/2054.2020.00124) (KAR id:79153)

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Abstract

This commentary serves to reflect upon the conception and development of a set of guidelines for the awareness of sexual abuse in ayahuasca settings, an assortment of scenarios that take place in local and global settings entailing the use of a psychedelic brew known for producing visionary and purgative effects composed of Amazonian Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca vine) most commonly combined with the leaves of Psychotria viridis (chacruna) or Diplopterys cabrerana (chaliponga). The globalization and diaspora of ayahuasca expertise, usage, and plant materials has broadened the diversity of individual and group interactions and geographical and social contexts in which this hallucinogenic concoction is ingested, and thus given rise to a range of possibilities which also may, despondently, include possibilities for sexual harassment and abuse. Here, the authors raise the key issues and processes that have led to formation, publication, and dissemination of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines’ Ayahuasca Community Guide for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse, focusing specifically on the needs for such guidelines, as well as the challenges faced in collaboratively creating them. The creation of guidelines as a form of education is a task wrought with concerns, as they must first and foremost convey the fact that abuse is never the victim/survivor’s fault, and yet they must also aim to inform individuals of potential common scenarios that can lead to abuse. In this sense, guidelines themselves are held up to scrutiny, and the process of collaboratively crafting the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines’ Ayahuasca Community Guide for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse has not been an exception. The authors stress the importance of research and experience in understanding the complexities of the contexts in which potential abuse can occur, particularly around issues of consent and intercultural communication. The overall aim is one of education at all levels; not just in better informing participants but, in doing so, being part of a broader goal of changing the potential scenarios themselves.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1556/2054.2020.00124
Uncontrolled keywords: ayahuasca, sexual abuse, sex, psychedelics, consent, code of conduct, ethics, Amazonia, Lowland South America
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
K Law > K Law (General)
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Daniela Peluso
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2020 20:00 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2020 12:03 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79153 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Peluso, Daniela: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6276-3247
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