Cross of Calatrava

Kingdom Advocates

Advocates@Calontir.org

Tristram – Duke Tristram of Lindisfarne
Conna – Countess Conna ingen Ui Chearbhaill
Halimah – Mistress Halimah bint ‘al Abbas ‘al Tanji

To request to be contacted by the Advocates, please fill out this form.

Advocate Report Form

The report form below is an OFFICIAL complaint/report – it will send a copy of the report to the Kingdom Seneschal AND the Kingdom Advocates.
If you are not seeking to make an official report, but would like to speak to an advocate, please go to the next tab to request contact.

Important Note

Cases that present an immediate threat to self, others, or property should be considered an emergency and should be directed to the authorities/police by calling 911.

PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Confidentiality will be maintained as much as possible, however the offices involved may be required to release some information to appropriate parties.

FOR EVENT STEWARDS: Here is a PDF form to print off and have available on you during the ENTIRE event you are hosting: Official Advocate Event Report Form

The Office of the Advocate

All members of the Kingdom of Calontir community are welcome and encouraged to contact the Kingdom Advocate Office for unbiased assistance and guidance in resolving any complaints or concerns. The purpose of the Advocate Office is to ensure that everyone in the Kingdom of Calontir is heard and given the proper respect and support in handling grievances. The advocates will first help find a solution to the raised situation; and then will assist in determining whether a formal complaint is the appropriate course of action, and if so, will guide individuals to the necessary channels.

The office of the advocate is made up of three individuals that are appointed by the Crown of Calontir.

Impartiality — The Office should conduct any inquiries and investigations in an impartial manner, free from initial bias or conflict of interest. The Office may become an advocate for change within the Kingdom where the process demonstrates a need for it.

Confidentiality — The Office holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be an imminent risk of serious harm. Any formal complaints submitted will go to the Royal Family, as well as the Kingdom Seneschal.

Advocate Guidelines

  1. Provide a confidential place to collaboratively explore complaints, clarify issues and consider options concerning issues in the Kingdom.
  2. Confidentially receive questions and concerns related to individual situations as well as broader systemic issues.
  3. Listen impartially and give unbiased feedback.
  4. Encourage and empower the populace members to find their own solutions to problems.
  5. Guide members toward available services and resources, should there be any.
  6. Facilitate communication when conflict arises.
  7. Serve as facilitator in group problem-solving.
  8. With the member’s consent, consult with Witan units and sections to obtain more information about the issues at hand, and explore options for conflict resolution.
  9. Suggest the redirection of matters to formal channels when appropriate. (IE: mundane authorities.)
  10. Promote fairness, equality, inclusion and access for all persons.
    Serve as a catalyst for institutional change by reporting trends and identifying opportunities to enhance Kingdom policies and procedures.

Services offered by the Advocate Office supplement, but do not replace, other more formal processes available to the Kingdom community.

When should someone report to the Advocate’s office?

Everyone should first try and resolve their problem directly with the parties involved. Please see Steps to Resolve a Conflict on the next tab.

If, after trying, you feel your complaint has not been addressed or resolved, that is the time to contact the Advocate for assistance.

What types of complaints does the Advocate’s Office not handle or investigate?

  1. Legal issues outside of the realm of SCA activities.
  2. Interpersonal disputes that do not affect the Kingdom or local groups, nor do they occur at an SCA activity. – IE: Mundane arguments, social media spats on personal pages, criminal charges unrelated to SCA activities (with exceptions*), divorce or relationship ending issues, etc.

How does an investigation work?

Advocate Office investigators collect and review information and evidence from the complainant, witnesses, members of the Witan, experts, and other sources. They also review all relevant Kingdom and Society laws, regulations, policies, and procedures. Sometimes the advocate office will conduct formal, recorded depositions of people involved in the complaint.

Once all the information and evidence is collected and analyzed, the Advocate investigators determine what happened based on the “preponderance of the evidence” (meaning it’s more likely than not something happened or is true). If the allegations in the complaint are found to be justified, the Advocate will make recommendations to the parties involved or the Crown and the Seneschal for how the complaint can be resolved.

What could you expect from a resolution?

  1. An apology.
  2. An explanation of what went wrong.
  3. A practical action to correct the problem.
  4. Recommendations to the parties involved to avoid similar problems happening again.

NOTE: Advocates cannot impose sanctions, or enforce or change any policy, rule or procedure. Due to the role of the advocate, communication with the advocate does not immediately serve notice to the Crown or Calontir’s governing body (Witan).

What creates conflict?
Most conflicts come down to a single thing – difference. Differences in opinion, perception, assumption, personality, age, and work style are all potential catalysts for serious disagreements. Calontir can sometimes be a breeding ground for these differences to collide, where people misinterpret intent and create discord. Unfortunately, conflict is inevitable when members of the populace are working closely together. Accepting that reality and learning to address situations head on, rather than avoid them, is the best thing to do.

When to get the advocate office involved in a situation?
Not all instances of conflict need to be handled by the advocate office. Many populace members are and should be able to work out differences on their own. If conflicts have developed to a point where morale or success (whether the populace member’s or the organization’s) are adversely affected, swift attention is recommended.

Effective communication

Effective communication involves two parts: presenting information and active listening. Without both, resolving conflict is impossible, as is maintaining your friendships and working relationships. Practice these skills:

  1. Think before speaking. Know exactly what message you want to convey.
  2. Make sure your friend has your full attention and understands your meaning.
  3. Stay focused on the matter at hand.
  4. Be clear and precise.
  5. Listen to yourself speak.
  6. Be aware of your body movement, voice inflection, facial expressions and other nonverbal cues.

When listening:

  1. Pay attention to what the person is saying and acknowledge your interest and understanding in what they are saying.
  2. Listen for what is behind the words—like feelings and ideas.
  3. Do not interrupt, get angry or judge.

When resolving conflict, keep these additional communication tips in mind:

  1. Remain calm. Recognize when you are becoming defensive or too emotional.
  2. Do not blame or accuse each other.
  3. Focus on the issue at hand, not the way you are feeling toward each other.
  4. Explore underlying issues.
  5. Accept that each other’s perspective is different, but not wrong.
  6. Be willing to apologize and forgive.

What is misconduct?

In law, misconduct is wrongful, improper, or unlawful conduct motivated by premeditated or intentional purpose or by obstinate indifference to the consequences of one’s acts.

Examples of Misconduct

  1. Financial negligence, relating to local or Kingdom funds, resulting in losses.
  2. Sexual exploitation, harassment, and/or abuse.
  3. Harassment and bullying (including mobbing).
  4. Assault, threats, or retaliation.
  5. Unlawful acts (e.g. theft or fraud) that have happened during an SCA event.
  6. Misrepresentation or false statements about a person or an organization that leads to further issues or slander.
  7. Breach of confidentiality.
  8. Misuse of the Organisation’s equipment or assets.
  9. Non-compliance with local or Kingdom laws.

This section defines inappropriate behaviors, which while legal, are deemed to be unacceptable, and run counter to the cultural fabric of Calontir. This includes bullying (defined here as persistent, unreasonable and unwelcome behaviors which have detrimental effects on individuals). This includes, but is not limited to, behavior that could reasonably be seen to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating, degrading, or threatening.

Bullying and Harassment

These behaviors may be covert and/or overt and include, but are not limited to:

  1. Verbal abuse (e.g., using racial, homophobic, transphobic, ableist epithets, etc.)
  2. Slander and libel
  3. Doxxing – Doxxing is the collection and publishing of someone’s private information online, usually done with the intent of inciting harassment in real life.
  4. Physical Intimidation
  5. Using threatening language
  6. Abusing rank, title, or office to intimidate others
  7. Intentional mis-gendering
  8. Spreading false rumors with malicious intent
  9. Repeated hurtful remarks or attacks, which includes, but is not limited, to use of social media

Bullying or Harassment is NOT:

  1. One-off or occasional instances of forgetfulness, rudeness or tactlessness.
  2. A single incident of unreasonable behavior, depending upon severity.
  3. The termination, desired or not, of a friendship or more intimate relationship where emotions are hurt but the behavior of either party does not otherwise meet the criteria or scope for bullying or harassment.
  4. A dislike and/or avoidance of another person, as long as that feeling or action does not cross into some of the above-listed unwelcome behaviors.

With regard to officers, Committee/Board members, the Crown and their representatives in regard to the execution of their role and management of their subordinate officers, deputies, or representatives, bullying is not:

  1. Setting high but reasonable performance standards of conduct and performance.
  2. Providing constructive feedback and legitimate advice.
  3. Requiring reasonable verbal or written work instructions to be carried out.

The test for bullying is the reasonableness of the behavior and the impact of that behavior on the recipient.

Confidential Reporting

If you wish that your identity and the details of an incident be kept confidential in the Official Advocate Report, the advocate resources are available to you through reporting to trusted individuals who can maintain this level of confidentiality.

In raising a concern about wrongdoing, you may assume that only those individuals investigating it will know your identity. We will not reveal your identity outside of this group except:

  1. Where we are under a legal obligation to do so;
  2. Where that information is already in the public domain;
  3. On a strictly confidential basis to a professionally qualified lawyer for the purposes of obtaining advice; or
  4. To the police or as otherwise required under mundane law or other requirements.

NOTE: If there are any other circumstances in which we are required to reveal your identity outside those identified above, we will discuss this with you first. Under no circumstances will we reveal your identity outside this office without your knowledge.

Likewise you have a duty of confidentiality to us and you should not disclose information about the nature of your concern to anyone either internally or externally who is not involved in any investigation/action being taken.

I’m not sure I want to officially report!

You may wish to consider the Request Contact from Advocate Form option if you:

  1. Would like to know about support and assistance, but are not sure if you want to pursue formal action against the individual, or
  2. Have questions or would like to process what happened with someone without involving mundane police or those responsible for Kingdom disciplinary procedures.
  3. Do not want the person(s) who harmed you to know that you are seeking help or support.

The Request Contact from Advocate resource is considered strictly confidential and unofficial, which means that the advocates can assist you without disclosing your personal identity to others in the Kingdom. The only exceptions to this are 1) concern for imminent danger or 2) sexual abuse of a minor.

As we want to address Kingdom and local concerns of sexual violence or harassment, these advocates may still report to the Kingdom Seneschal, Crown, and mundane authorities if they perceive that there are patterns of harassment or violence occurring in certain locations or groups within the Kingdom. In those cases, your personal identity will not be shared.

If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the mundane justice system or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Advocate can help you file a report with mundane authorities on the details of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, the Kingdom and mundane police can keep accurate records of the number of incidents involving members, determine where there is a pattern of crime or abuse with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the Kingdom community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are completed, investigated, and filed securely.

What about anonymous reporting?

Due to limitations in a volunteer organization, and to preserve the validity of claims, the Advocate office does not take anonymous claims and reports at this time.

The advocate office needs to be able to investigate, or make the report known to mundane authorities. This is not to say that the reporter’s information will be public. In fact, it CAN be kept confidential.

The Kingdom reserves the right to use discretion in assessing behavior concerns submitted through the Advocate Online Report.