Workshop “Let’s all Benefit from Survivor Voices”

Published: Sep 22 2015

Inge Verdaasdonk (survivor and social worker), Maartje Sofia den Hoedt (survivor and representative of a women’s shelter client council) and Sanne te Pas (former shelter worker), all from the Netherlands, will host the workshop “Let’s all benefit from survivor voices.” We have practical experience with women’s participation in the operation of shelters, and we have worked in programmes on empowerment and violence against women.

We will start our workshop by exchanging ideas on how different cultural and political contexts influence the way in which causes of violence against women are interpreted, and how women survivors are viewed by the people close to them, the general public and institutions.

Afterwards, we will focus on what survivors themselves have to offer in terms of boosting prevention and intervention programmes. In our experience, types of formal participation in which survivors are given the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas in relation to the services they receive are an empowering and cost-effective tool that women’s shelters seem to underuse.

Giving survivors a bigger role in decision-making processes, advocacy and ownership of their problems and possible solutions benefit both the women and organisations. It has proven to be an approach that boosts the empowerment of women and fits in well with strengths models. It also provides organisations and policy-makers with insights into the users’ perspective, which can help them improve the quality of care.

We would like to invite you all to our workshop and exchange examples of improvement and empowerment that are the result of giving survivors a bigger role in decision-making and advocacy. Come and learn from former victims and the “insider’s perspective”, and leave with enthusiasm and knowledge that can be applied within your own organisation.





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