The Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU) wish to express our grave concern that our member Erin Stevens, and other individuals supporting her resolution that the BACP should end its involvement with the SCoPEd project, have been subjected to personal abuse on BACP's social media forums.
This has included offensive, potentially defamatory comments and insinuations about the motives of those opposing SCoPEd.
It is evident that a large number of counsellors and psychotherapists, including many BACP members, have grave concerns about the SCoPEd project and the way that it has been carried out, and it is entirely reasonable that Erin, as a BACP member, has put forward a resolution allowing all members to vote on the issue. It is crucial that individuals are able to express their views on controversial topics, and that debate and disagreement can take place, without being silenced by fear of personalised aggression and attack.
Large organisations such as BACP have a duty of care to ensure that all those using their social media platforms feel safe from abuse, which may mean being proactive in moderating debate.
We urge that the BACP issue clear statements defending the right of all members to submit resolutions, and that clear guidelines are put in place on BACP's social media and online forums which state that debate and discussion of topics must be conducted in reference to the topic, and must not involve personalised comments about those posting, or any individuals involved.
We look forward to hearing a response from BACP on this matter.