Dr Daniela Peluso presented at the World Ayhuasca Conference in Girona, Spain (29 May – 2 June) to launch the Chacruna Institute of Psychedelic Plant Medicine’s Guidelines for the Awareness of Sexual Abuse, alongside Emily Sinclair (PhD, Durham University). These guidelines are based on Daniela’s research on shaman-participant seduction in ayhuasca settings.
Sexual abuse and misconduct towards female participants in ayahuasca circles are, unfortunately, quite prevalent. Exact numbers are difficult to obtain, as most cases never come to light: nonetheless, the issue is common knowledge within the ayahuasca community. As an organisation dedicated to providing public education and cultural understanding about plant medicines, the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines does not wish to dissuade women from drinking ayahuasca, but rather to raise awareness about sexual harassment and offer practical guidelines in the interest of keeping female participants in ayahuasca ceremonies and communities safe.
The conference was attended by over 1200 participants from 50 countries. The guidelines are available for downloading in five languages, with two more to follow. They are based on Daniela’s work in both a book chapter and an online article.