This paper showcases the pioneering work of the first few key domestic violence survivors' forums in the UK with brief descriptive accounts of three innovators in the field: Croydon Domestic Violence Survivors' Forum, Voice for Change and the Phoenix Group. These groups form part of attempts to involve survivors of domestic violence in policy and service development. The women's activist movement against violence against women has led the way in putting domestic violence on the policy agenda and has always had polices of empowerment and of raising silenced voices. For example, Women's Aid and other women's services have operated policies of attempting to encourage the participation of women using their services, although this work has decreased somewhat in recent years. Now that responses to domestic violence are being mainstreamed in the UK, it is important to ask whether statutory agencies and inter-agency domestic violence forums are learning from the activist projects and attempting to achieve meaningful participation for service users and other abused women. This paper discusses whether the views of domestic violence survivors are both heard and heeded by professionals. It addresses the sensitivities and difficulties involved and the importance of informing services with survivor voices. While focussing principally on domestic violence survivors' forums, the paper makes a variety of suggestions for good and innovative practice.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Domestic Violence Survivors' Forums in the UK: Experiments in Involving Abused Women in Domestic Violence Services and Policy-making
|191 - 203
|Number of pages
|Journal of Gender Studies
|Published - Nov 2006