Authentic Voice Principles and Model

The Authentic Voice Principles

The Authentic Voice Principles are the foundation of all our Authentic Voice work. They were co-created by survivors (SafeLives Pioneers and Authentic Voice Panel) and professionals, some of whom also have lived experience of domestic abuse, for:

  • People who are working or engaging with survivors (including colleagues with experience of domestic abuse) to safely support the sharing of their voice
  • Survivors who are, or are considering, sharing their voice to know what they should expect from organisations and individuals they are engaging with.

Do No Harm

  • Harm can occur as a result of what we do, or don’t do
  • Risk is recognised and addressed with the survivor
  • Authentic voice work is trauma-informed

Expert by Experience

  • Survivors and professionals bring knowledge which is vital in responding well to domestic abuse
  • No ‘them and us’
  • Survivors are valued and compensated for their expertise

Speak Your Truth

  • Survivors are not spokespeople for organisations they work with
  • Survivors can choose what they share, when they share, and who they share with
  • Survivors recognise the impact their voices may have on others

Heart and Start

  • Survivors’ voices are included at the very beginning and involved through to the end of all work
  • Create not rate
  • Survivors are informed of the impact of their work, and are safely acknowledged

Equality and diversity

  • Anyone can experience domestic abuse, and our experience is affected by our different identities
  • Services find ways to access the voices they are not hearing

The Authentic Voice Model

Authentic Voice is at the heart and start of everything we do, and it is important for us at SafeLives that we are hearing both the depth and breadth of expertise and experiences. As a result, we’ve created this model which holds space for survivors to choose the level of involvement that best meets their needs at this time. Our Pioneers and Scottish AV Panel heavily influence SafeLives and our priorities, and we engage with a broad spectrum of survivors to understand the diversity of experiences within our Survivor Voice Network. Our Experts by Experience have particular areas of interest and expertise and work independently with our team on projects that matter to them.

Pioneers and Authentic Voice Panel – involved strategically, influencing policy and practice with lived experience

Associate Experts by Experience – involvement in specific projects related to their expertise and interests

Survivor Voice Network – network of survivor voice groups and organisations across the country

Community Capacity Building – developing a culture where influential survivor voice is supported to thrive locally

Learn more about our Authentic Voice work in local areas:

Embedding Authentic Voice: Hampshire

Our Authentic Voice (AV) project is transforming Hampshire’s response to domestic abuse by ensuring survivor voices are at the centre of local policies and services.