Dr Daniela Peluso’s research on ayahuasca practices examines the challenges of providing guidelines for the awareness of sexual abuse

  "Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca) wood and cross-section" by Fotosearch (Royalty free).

In a recent piece in the Journal of Psychedelic Studies, Dr Daniela Peluso, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology, was lead author in an article entitled Reflections on crafting an ayahuasca community guide for the awareness of sexual abuse. The paper discusses the challenges of creating guidelines as an educational task wrought with delicate and contentious concerns.

Cover of the Journal for Psychedelic Studies that the article appears inFirst and foremost, any guidelines dealing with such matters must convey the fact that abuse is never the victim/survivor’s fault yet must also aim to inform individuals of potential common scenarios that can lead to abuse. In this sense, the guidelines themselves are held up to scrutiny, and the process of collaboratively crafting the The Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant MedicinesAyahuasca 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 discussion on consent and psychedelics, and whether consent can ever justly be granted, is salient given the psychedelic renaissance that has been underway for some time.

Dr Peluso states that 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.

The Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines’ Ayahuasca Community Guide for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse can now be downloaded in six languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Dutch) with Russian and Ukrainian soon to follow. Alongside these guidelines, there is also a Legal Resources Companion to the Guidelines for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse, which offers at-hand information on a country-by-country basis regarding government laws regarding sexual abuse and overviews of centres and resources that are available.

However, the Chacruna Institute’s hope is that the Ayahuasca Community Guide for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse will make the Legal Companion less necessary.

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