Victim Survivor self-reflection questions

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?

Resources needed

  • 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?

Safety considerations

  • 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?

Boundaries

  • 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?

Legal Considerations

  • 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?

Privacy

  • 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?