Who Are We?

We are:

  • a network and community of good practice
  • a space for researchers who have Lived Experience of abuse and violence (as opposed to survivors of psychiatric systems and practices, although significant cross over is acknowledged).
  • a safe space to reveal and feel supported

NB “Researcher” includes anyone currently conducting, or applying to conduct, or co-produce research. This research might be with an academic institution or in any other field. Therefore, over time, membership will be fluid as students may attend while conducting research, while those employed as researchers may be more regular attendees.

That this Lived Experience might be used to enhance our research. A positive feature.

Promoting the avoidance of ‘tokenistic’ or ‘un-influential’ participation in research, as has been experienced by lived experience researchers. The issue of inclusion in published papers, involvement from the start to shape projects, and power-dynamics of role and ‘rank’ were all discussed. 

The difficult of joint and hidden/revealed identities (hats) was discussed. How to best navigate these? The painful experience of ‘revealing’/disclosing and then experiencing the consequences. That we are more than our identity as ‘survivor’. The question of ‘how do we close the gap’ was raised and open for further discussion. 

The above speak to creating a charter of good practice and ‘key principles’  like the SV charter, but focused on the specifics of researching. 

The space to be open and inclusive to all voices, actively encouraging membership by people with many identities in addition to their survivor identity, eg people of colour, disability, class, gender and sexuality. 

The proposal is that meetings are dedicated to:

1. Dissemination between members of “what works well and what doesn’t” when conducting research, and when being a researcher

2. Sharing our research to identify cross over and opportunities for shared learning

3. Peer support 

4. Signposting to Survivors’ Voices or other institutions’ support spaces if an attendee needs support beyond the scope of this space