Predators are members who take advantage of other members in various ways, such as:
- sexual harassment
- sexual attack
- stalking (physical, phone or cyberstalking)
- pressuring members to join a particular religious group
- borrowing money
- selling goods for personal gain
- offering investment schemes
- theft of group funds.
While they are not common, the damage they do can be enormous. The saddest thing about this type of activity is that it is often practised on vulnerable new members who are least able to use their judgement and defend themselves.
Predation is different to occasional or mutually agreed upon action between members – that sometimes go’s wrong.
Predation is an extremely important matter. The best way to handle the problem is to deal with it quickly at the group level.
Use the 12 Traditions as a guide when addressing the matter.
It is clear that older members and office holders have a moral obligation to help protect vulnerable members. It’s possible they may even have a legal obligation to do so.
Certainly we need to do everything we can to ensure newcomers know a meeting is a safe environment.