We undertake and support survivor-led research and trauma-informed survivor involvement in research. Our goal is for survivors’ voices to be fully centred in all aspects of research, as researchers and participants.

Our peer gatherings, events, projects and research are all planned and led by survivor research and action groups. We meet both to shape our in-house activities and to influence the world of research, social policy, professional training and practice with survivor perspectives, priorities, and questions.

Our tools to support research include the Survivor Charter and Involvement Ladder; the Linking Service; The Survivor Researcher Community; and our Evaluation and Research services. Our research projects and reports can be found here.


 The Charter For Engaging Abuse Survivors

In partnership with King’s College London, and with funding from the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund, we ran a uniquely survivor-generated and survivor-led piece of research with a group survivors. The group piloted a survey to gather views of people who have been abused, regarding their experiences of help seeking: what has helped/ hindered them in their journeys out of abuse and towards well-being/recovery. The research involved a process evaluation, seeking the survivors’ views on what it was like to run the research project and on the experience of participating as a ‘research subject’: how could we ensure this is safe, meaningful and effective? One outcome is  “From Pain into Power”, our Charter for Organisations Engaging Abuse Survivors in Projects, Research & Service Development.  This is now free to download on this website and is being piloted.

A copy of the report of the pilot survey can be found here.

The Survivor Involvement in Research Ladder

This unique tool was produced by Survivors’ Voices in collaboration with Simone Kennedy, as part of her MSc in Public Health degree at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The Ladder is designed to measure and evaluate the quality of survivor involvement in research about survivors. Building on the work of our Charter, it is currently in its pilot phase and we are gathering feedback to evaluate and maximise the Ladder’s effectiveness in creating research that is genuinely co-produced with people who have experienced  abuse. It’s free to download from here and we are keen to hear about how you use it.

Read this article about Simone’s evaluation of the Ladder and findings that only 12.9% of studies about abuse survivors involved people who had experienced abuse, with survivors tending to fill more advisory roles at isolated stages of research development.


Research Linking Service

Our Research Linking Service brings together researchers seeking survivors to co-produce research, be part of a Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) or participants to interview; and survivors interested co-producing or taking part in research. We check that research meets basic trauma-informed principles; and we advertise opportunities in our extensive network.

If you are a researcher looking for survivors to get involved in your research, more information is here.

If you are a survivor interested in taking part in research, find the latest opportunities here, and sign up to our Changemakers Community here, to keep informed of new opportunities.


Survivor Researcher Community

Dr Susanna Alyce leads our Survivors Voices Researcher Community, which has received funding and support from the Violence and Mental Health Network (VAMHN)

The Community offers a platform for support, education and guidance for abuse-survivors who are researchers leading, co-producing or participating in research studies.

For more information and to join, please check the Survivor Researcher Community page


Evaluation and Research Services

We work in association with Universities and other survivor-led groups to bring a survivor-informed perspective on studies, and are a partner with Service User Research Enterprise (SURE) at King’s College, London.

Jane Chevous, our co-founder/director, runs our registered learning centre, is a published writer on abuse and safeguarding and has over 40 years experience in community, further and higher education, specialising in participation and involvement. She is an Associate Researcher with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IOPPN) at King’s College London and her final project for the MSC in Mental Health Recovery and Inclusion, University of Hertfordshire was on survivor involvement in research.

Jane partnered with Roz Etwaria from Little Ro to create an Evaluation Framework for survivor involvement in research, building on the Charter and Involvement Ladder. Jane and Roz piloted this in an evaluation of the MESARCH study, led by Dr Lorna O’Doherty of Coventry University. You can read about the framework on our evaluation report, A Better Way.

Jane, Roz, Susanna and other Survivors Voices associates are available for co-producing research and events with survivors, evaluation of survivor involvement in research, support and consultation on setting up and running studies and projects with survivors, and survivor-led training for researchers and lived experience advisory groups. Please Contact us for a discussion of how we can work with you.