Many have read what Penance has to say in our Redlight section, she has strong opinions and a lot of experience but what many do not know is that Penny along with other volunteers run the Rape and Counselling centre in secondlife. I asked Penny to tell me about it:
dana Vanmoer: So tell me about the rape center and how it came about in SL
Penance Sautereau: Well, one day my wife was asleep and I was feeling triggery.
This was about last august, early, No one in my list was on and I needed someone to talk to. So I searched for counselling or peer support for rape survivors figuring SL surely had something. I found all of three counsellors All of whom charged $1500L an hour. And over 60 rape fetish groups
Penance Sautereau: And I was horrified.
Penance Sautereau: So I built the original rape crisis and counselling centre in kot to put free counselling on SL, and to exist as a reminder that Rape is NOT sexy when it's real, and what these fetishists make a fantasy of is a horrific thing when it happens to you for real.
dana Vanmoer: How did you find people willing to help?
Penance Sautereau: Well, my first volunteer came after finding our classified ad and volunteered. One of my SL wives was the second, everyone else volunteered after finding the place, wanting to contribute to what they thought was an idea sl sorely needed
dana Vanmoer: What has the response been like?
Penance Sautereau: Well generally positive, no griefers. We've thankfully only had a few people come needing us. It's the sort of vocation where you're happier to NOT be needed.
dana Vanmoer: Does that make you feel it is not needed here in SL? Or do you feel its because its not known that the help is there?
Penance Sautereau: Well I suppose more advertising could help, but we're the only result in search if you type in "Rape Counselling" so we're not hard to find
dana Vanmoer: I guess its a matter of if you are looking for it you will find it
dana Vanmoer: Are you or any of the volunteers trained to be counsellors?
Penance Sautereau: I'm not, but we specify that up front. Three of my volunteers are actually rl trained and certified though
dana Vanmoer: Do you give those that come for advice information for real life help?
Penance Sautereau: Always. Virtual counselling seems a good start for many because it's less personal, not being truly face to face, but we always recommend towards rl counselling when they're ready
dana Vanmoer: anything else you would like to tell people?
Penance Sautereau: Don't bottle it up, it'll eat at you. If you have these issues you have to talk them out, work through them. Burying them only hurts you. And we're here to listen, and help if we can. And to all you men, remember NO really does mean NO.
What this shows is that the help is out there if you need it. As Penny said RL help is the best eventual solution, but Secondlife allows those that would like to remain completely untraceable the opportunity to get help that they may not do in RL through fear of discovery.
Thank you to Penance for letting us talk openly about a painful subject.Chatlog colourised with the help of Gwyn’s Colouriser Script