I was a child or teenager when I caused harm. Can I join a Purple Circle?
Yes, definitely. Purple Circles welcome anyone who identifies as a person who has caused harm sexually to a child or young person — regardless of the age you were when you caused it. Like the other Circles, Purple Circles draw people with all types of experiences and stories, and the richness of the group is generated from those differences of experience.
Will I get in trouble if I come forward about causing harm to someone?
Hidden Water Circles are for healing and taking responsibility, not punishment. Hidden Water is not meant to be used to build a case against anyone for criminal prosecution, and we will not gather evidence from anyone. We do not keep a record of anything that happened in Circle, and beyond contact information, we will not keep any records of any kind. We only collect contact information and will do everything we can to preserve your right to confidentiality. If you choose, you are welcome to use your first name and an initial for your last name when you are registering. All of that said, Hidden Water is also not meant to replace a criminal prosecution should a victim choose to pursue that course of action.
If I participate in a Purple Circle, can this count as therapy that is mandated by my parole or can this help reduce my sentence in court?
No. Hidden Water Circle Keepers do not function as therapists or counselors, therefore while our Healing Circles can be profoundly therapeutic, they do not comply with court-mandated counseling regulations. More importantly, participation in Circles of any color should be completely voluntary and for no other purpose than to further your own healing and development. Hidden Water does not provide any proof of attendance or completion of our Circle programs, and participation in our Circles cannot be used as a means of appeal, for a reduction of court sentences, or as part of a sentence mandated by a court.
What constitutes “harm” or “abuse”?
Many people do not have a clear picture or memory of the harm (but have a strong feeling that something happened) and have asked us if they can join a Circle. The answer is yes. Others have asked: What if I sexually harmed someone under the age of 18 but I don’t think it's legally considered “abuse" because I was also under 18 years old?; or What if the person I harmed doesn’t think what I did was “abuse”?, can I join a Purple Circle?
The guideline for us is: if any violation of a sexual nature, clear or unclear in detail, happened to someone under the age of 18, by someone of any age, known to that minor or not, including a stranger, and you believe there has been a negative impact, this qualifies to participate in Hidden Water.