UK Rough Defense Amendment Could Make Some BDSM Illegal

UK Rough Defense Amendment Could Make Some BDSM Illegal

In July of this year, the British government announced a ban on the “rough sex defense” sometimes used in criminal cases, primarily murder, as a way to claim innocence after the death of a partner. While meant to be a step forward to help domestic violence victims get justice, the actual language of the bill could outlaw some BDSM practices.

Within the language of the new bill being proposed is a specification that “actual bodily harm” will be illegal. This is defined, in part, as evidence of bruises, scratching, and bite marks. All are outcomes of some forms of kinky play, including impact play and other sensation or pain play. Kinksters in the UK are concerned that this could outlaw their consensual (and safe!) BDSM activities.

By codifying into law that certain kinky activities or outcomes from those activities are illegal, it creates confusion about the difference between BDSM and abuse. BDSM requires consent, communication, and safe play. Abuse does not. Kinksters are sounding the alarm, but as of yet, it doesn’t appear anyone is listening.

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