Emily Sinclair and Beatriz Labate

Many individuals participate in ayahuasca ceremonies for healing purposes, sometimes specifically to heal trauma caused by sexual abuse. Considering this, it is especially disturbing to discover that sexual abuse is also quite prevalent in ayahuasca and shamanic healing contexts. Several cases, some quite high profile, have come to light in recent years spanning different kinds of abuse across diverse ayahuasca ceremonial contexts. Yet despite sexual abuse and harassment being prevalent within ayahuasca circles, many participants seeking ayahuasca healing are still unaware of the problem and can unknowingly end up in a vulnerable situation. Indeed, one of the first obstacles we face in attempting to address sexual abuse in the ayahuasca community is the quite widespread disbelief that sexual abuse is indeed a problem. The Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines believes that the more people learn about past and potential sexual abuse, the greater the chances to combat it. Sexual assault is always the fault of the perpetrator and it is the responsibility of all individuals within the community to come forward and speak about this. While we have no control over the perpetrators of these acts, we hope that the experiences of others can be useful in raising awareness about the typical contexts in which past abuse has occurred… continue reading.

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