This series of questions has been developed to support family violence victim survivors decide whether they would like to be formally engaged as a survivor advocate. These questions might provide useful guidance for discussions between an organisation and a survivor during the recruitment process.
A checklist to determine organisational readiness is also available
Readiness to undertake the work
- What are my reasons for wanting to participate as a survivor advocate?
- Do I really want to participate or am I feeling that I should?
- Am I ready to talk about my own personal experiences if required?
- Do I have enough resources in place both personally and professionally to do the work required as an expert by experience?
- What support will I need to ensure my health and wellbeing is not negatively impacted by participation?
- How will I manage the emotions associated with talking about family violence?
- What strategies will I use if someone reacts negatively or judgmentally to my expertise?
- Is it safe for me to participate?
- Are there any ongoing risks posed by the person who abused me?
- Are there protections that can be put in place to increase my safety?
- Do I know if this organisation has procedures in place to record and remember the safety protections I want to put in place?
- How will I ensure my personal and professional boundaries are upheld?
- What are my personal limits regarding what I am happy to contribute as a survivor advocate?
- Am I clear about the limitations of this role and who I am able to represent when I speak publicly?
- Am I involved in any ongoing legal proceedings that may be jeopardised by participating as an expert by experience?
- Are there any potential legal consequences of being an expert by experience?
- Am I clear about how I would make complaints or provide feedback about my involvement with this organisation?
- Are there people in my life who need to be aware of my decision to be an expert by experience?
- How might my children or family feel about my decision to participate? What might the impacts of this decision be for them?
- How might my community feel about and react to my decision to participate? How might their responses impact me?