Just read about Fay Brown's suspension from the BACP

I read about it in the Prostasia Foundation’s email newsletter. I recommend everyone be subscribed to it, as it does supply useful doses of information regarding various different things.

For those who hadn’t read it, I’ll paste its contents.

BACP suspends counselor for saying that cartoons are not abuse images

Fay Brown is the founder of Project Snowball, a charitable organisation raising awareness by providing counselling, group support and education both for children and adults affected by pedophilia or child sexual abuse. In 2019, Fay, who is a sexual abuse survivor herself, spoke on Prostasia’s podcast about sexual and intimacy conditions related to the trauma of sexual violence and assault.

Last month, Fay was suspended from membership of the BACP, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, in response to a campaign by online trolls who objected to a video that she had posted to YouTube. The video, shown below, was made in defense of a young artist who had himself been subjected to troll warfare over claims that his fan artwork was “pedophilic.”

In her video, Fay argues:

people are being incredibly offensive to actual sexual abuse victims by labeling drawings as child sex exploitation material. Now they are not⁠—they are not—they are a drawing. Child sex exploitation material is the image of a child rape or abuse, so to [conflate the two] does damage to both things, now. If you find hentai, lolicon, and manga offensive then don’t go and look, but [it is not OK] to totally delegitimize an entire section of people because they do, either because they are trauma victims—and they are equally valid in the way that their trauma lays in their body as you are—or that is their kink, in which case we don’t kink shame in 2020 either.

Fay applied a similar argument to the demonization of young people who exchange sexting images with each other, contending that “Teenagers are sexual and they’re online nowadays, so to demonize them as creating child sex exploitation material simply by being in a relationship with a fellow teen is also not okay.”

In appealing against her expulsion from the BACP last month for stating these not unreasonable opinions, Fay struck back against the organization’s capitulation to the stigma-based arguments of the online troll army. In her appeal, Fay writes, “Free speech includes my right to talk about laws that I feel are unjust, terminology that is outdated, and stigma that gets in the way of survivor’s rights and prevention initiatives.”

Prostasia Foundation calls on the BACP to rescind its suspension, and to restore Fay Brown to full membership of the organization—if she chooses to accept it—with an apology.

As someone who was looking into, as a matter of personal interest, the BACP for some of their research into counseling methodology as a means to build an understanding of how traditional counseling methods vary, this is extremely disappointing and nauseating to read. The fact that they would dare argue that something which is NOT abusive can somehow be abusive is oxymoronic. It turns the very definition of abuse imagery on its head when you try to lump in materials that ARE NOT MADE FROM, NOR DO THEY DEPICT REAL INSTANCES OF SEXUAL ABUSE!!!
The main reason why lumping in materials that are not the product of sexual abuse like this is because the purpose of outlining CSAM/CSEM as proper terms, you are focusing on the abuse of a real child, a victim. The focus is on the child, and their pain and/or suffering, in addition to their overall safety and well-being. None of that exists in material that is a fictional character. Like Faye Brown says, it’s literally just a drawing and it’s existence, consumption, and creation are not linked to real sex abuse, nor are they likely to incite or encourage such abuse. Because it is not the product of abuse, nor is it likely to incite real abuse if viewed by an pedophilic individual, the relevancy such materials would even have is spurious indeed. This would be akin to labeling a horror film as a ‘snuff film’.

Here’s a thought exercise. Would material made using petite, youthful-looking adults, rather than drawings or art be considered ‘child sex abuse material’? The fictional characters played by the adult film actors and actresses, for narrative and appearance-purposes, are minors, with themes, dialog, plot elements, and other narrative and artistic bits to further cement the pedophilic nature of the content being created, even the appearance of the actors themselves could fool a seasoned pediatrician into believing that they are minors, possibly with the aid of digital editing, compositing, cinematography to help further that, but because the thing that the camera is pointed at are not children, but rather consenting adults playing a role in a pornographic film, it wouldn’t be.
How can the argument be different with respect to drawings or fiction? Something that is unequivocally just lines on paper, a cartoon set in motion, 3D models, or mere written words. It can’t, because the element of truth that matters, the lack of a real minor, is still present in both situations.

By attempting to blur the lines between these definitions, these ‘clinicians’ are causing very real harm! They are trying to impose a normative definition that would no longer be representative of the material or subject matter it was designed to be narrowly tailored to. Drawings, text-based stories, 3D models, and other forms of fiction that do not involve real children cannot be read to fit within the scope of CSAM or CSEM because they are not instances of abuse! I’ve repeated myself ad nauseam here, and it’s extremely disheartening to see this because it’s very clearly an attempt to silence the and intimidate clinicians who know better!

Absolutely disheartening, and it’s exactly why I’m thankful for organizations such as @prostasia for being a beacon of hope and reason in this controversial area which cannot help but be politicized by bad actors trying to misuse their authority in ways that would undoubtedly cause real harm and undermine the reality that is child sex abuse!

I’ve already talked about this before, and for those interested here’s the thread:

I urge everyone here to read into this and I hope that Ms. Fay is in good spirits and is able to continue the good work she is doing.

@terminus Thank you for bringing this to people’s attention. I don’t know how recent this development was, but I hope Fay and all others are not discouraged to step forward. This was nothing more than an attempt to silence and intimidate so they could present the illusion of an empirically valid normative definition, one that would be counter-productive to the goals of protecting and counseling victims.


Really, doing this sets the precedent that abuse has nothing concrete to define abuse. No victims being harmed in the production of it or anything like physical evidence of coercion.

Hey, so, why not, like, say, “You offended my emotions… You’re an abuser.” To be fair to how they’re acting.

It’s just a case of “I know it when I see it.”

Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech. - Noam Chomsky


If I were to take the position that fiction is CSEM in good faith before subsequently destroying it, I would assume that they’re operating on some sort of ‘normative’ definition to be ascribed to adult-child sex, one that applies irrespective of whether it’s a real child or not, sort of murder or theft in a fictional work would still be regarded as murder or theft as those things are defined in reality.
Their argument would be that just as adult-child sex in real life is abusive, so too is it in fiction.

I find this logic anthithetical and unworkable for the term CSAM/CSEM (child sexual abuse/exploitation material), and I defer to my previous statements regarding the dangers of lumping in materials that are not the product of child sex abuse/exploitation within the scope of these narrow terms.

I would love nothing more than the medical and scientific community to get together and have a proper discussion on this issue. It is, for lack of a better set of words or phrase, clown logic to argue that a drawing of a fictional character is CSEM, to argue that CSEM can include material that is NOT exploitive or abusive, or otherwise intrinsically linked to the sexual abuse of children.

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In all fairness, emotional/psychological abuse is a thing, and is actually more common than other forms of abuse since it’s so pervasive. It is categorized as a deliberate attempt by the abuser to inflict psychological or emotional harm, a degree of which that goes beyond ‘harsh language’ or ‘being mean’.
Rather it is a conscious attempt to exploit known vulnerabilities in a person’s psyche as to inflict wounds suffering as they would if they were physical. To debilitate, to instill suffering, to cause harm is the goal.

There is a difference however, between this and a person merely taking offense.
The latter is contingent on a degree of control over the person, in that a desire to be offended, rather than a mere tendency, is required. A person deliberately going onto a specific website which contains material that the person may happen to derive personal offense towards, or having a person tell them a joke or say words or create images which generate a visceral emotional response? No. In both of those situations, a person can choose how to feel and how to react. While the initial response may not be voluntary, now that they’ve been exposed, future responses are contingent on their desire to control their emotions and to ‘shake it off’.
Either way, offense =/= abuse.

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