Is this a transformative justice project?
While at one point we were attempting to work within what we understood to be a transformative justice-style framework for this situation, it has come to our attention that these processes are rarely credibly used in situations of misogynistic relationship abuse, specifically because abusive men are often impossible to get to engage in good faith. Communications we have seen from Franklin, his polycule, his friends and his pod bear this out.
We believe the only valid option for an abuser trying to reform themselves at this point is voluntary participation in a program specifically dealing with abusive men. Even then, the success rate of such programs is low. There are currently not enough cultural boundaries, consequences, and containers to motivate most abusers to effect real change within themselves. It is simply easier for them to move on to another vulnerable place or person instead of doing their own work.
In addition, given the lack of experience of many of the pod members (ours and Franklin’s), and the lack of skilled capacity and credible expertise within the polyamorous and sex-positive communities we were part of, problematic dynamics emerged through the process that caused serious harm and hindered the overall effectiveness and integrity of the project.
As a result, we have closed the transformative justice process and are now simply publishing an archive of survivors’ stories. Franklin published his stories so the world could read them and share in his narrative account. We are taking an opportunity to do the same, to let the world hear another side (or few) of the stories you are already familiar with, to fairly represent all the characters in these stories, and to draw attention to harmful dynamics in polyamory that are being replicated throughout our communities.