The Difference We All Can Make by Ursula Lindenberg
The 16 Days of Activism are about the difference we all can make to prevent abuse and violence against women and girls.
When we started VOICES 4 years ago, and before that SEEDS (Survivors Educating and Empowering Domestic Abuse Services) Bath, we had no way of knowing whether we would be successful in setting up a service dedicated to long-term recovery support for other people who, like us, had suffered the profound impacts of abusive relationships.
However, we did all share a strong belief that it would be worth trying, and that our experience was not only a disadvantage but also an asset in terms of knowledge, understanding, and independent outlook. We had been through a lot to get our independence, and our voices back, and we wouldn’t let a lack of funding for or understanding about domestic abuse stop us.
So we set up VOICES in 2014, and registered as a charity that December. I have been astounded by the support we have received since then, both locally and nationally, from men and women from different walks of life, some of whom have joined us as trustees, while others have played an important part as volunteers, colleagues or mentors.
We are all united in a belief that people facing dark times through abuse need the light shone on their situation, to enjoy the solidarity and trust that grows from group work, and to be provided with positive and respectful support that meets people where they are and is designed to help them get to where they truly want to be.
Everyone with experience of domestic abuse has insights and knowledge that are valuable, to help others recover and to inform people and organisations who make decisions that affect the lives of victims and survivors. VOICES’ mission is to make the case for more voices of experience to be heard and responded to.
Anyone who wants to is welcome to help us reach this goal!