Survivors’ Forum guidelines

This forum is for women only over the age of 18 who have been affected by domestic abuse to share their experiences and to offer support to one another. The forum is not for seeking advice for a third party.

The Survivors’ Forum is NOT a direct help service. If you need immediate help and support, please call the freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge)


Stay safe

Remember that anyone can read your posts, so please check that you do not include any identifying information such as your name, children’s names, the place where you may work or your location.

Do not share your contact details (for example your email address) in a post.


The Survivors’ Forum is a place for:

  • sharing experiences
  • encouraging and supporting each other
  • offering advice and suggestions
  • posting relevant information or links

To achieve this, we ask that users:

  • are respectful – Please do not post materials or topics which are insulting, offensive, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, lewd or physically threatening. We ask that everyone who posts makes the effort to respect all other views and does not attempt to force any personal views onto others. We expect those who post to accept others’ comments in the way that they are meant, as in support and information sharing.
  • treat other users as you would like to be treated
  • respect other users’ right to privacy by not posting messages that may reveal their identity or contact details.
  • do not provoke other users by posting messages that are inflammatory or solely serve to incite other members.
  • do not invalidate other users’ experiences. Every user in a survivor and their experience is real and valid.

To make the Forum easy to read and use, we ask that users:

  • write clearly when you compose a message – Review your message carefully before clicking the ‘Send’ button. Remember, if your message can be misunderstood, it will be.
  • don’t use ALL CAPS – Typing in all capital letters is frowned upon; it’s the equivalent of shouting. It also makes your message more difficult to read.
  • don’t post off-topic messages – The forum is for the sole purpose of survivors supporting each other through discussion. As a charity, we need to focus our funds in the best way possible, and therefore cannot offer staff time in moderating messages that are general chat. This includes discussions about activities taking place on other forums/social networks; we do not hold any responsibility for activities on other networks, do not recommend or endorse other forums, and as such cannot dedicate staff time to them. Any such threads will be removed.
  • remember that spamming and advertising is strictly prohibited – Any and all advertising, chain letters, pyramid schemes, solicitation, spamming and trolling is inappropriate and unacceptable on any of our forum areas.
  • don’t post links to blogs – Whilst we make every effort to ensure the safety of all forum members we can not extend that to other parts of the web, and can not allow the promotion of anything that could identify you or others.

Contacting a moderator

If you need to contact us with a messageboard query please allow at least 48 – 72 hours for any response. When contacting a moderator make sure you use an email address that we can safely reply to. If this is different to your registered address please tell us your registered address in the email. To contact us, please email [email protected]


Re-registering

We are asking everyone to re-register for the new Survivors’ Forum (launched on 25th November 2015) to ensure you agree to the terms and conditions of the new site.

Remember to use your current username when re-registering so your friends on the forum and the moderators will be able to recognise you on the new site.


Private messaging

  • You are now able to send private messages to other survivors instead of requesting private email addresses from the moderators. This will work in a similar way to other social media messaging types so you can message one or more survivors at any time.
  • WARNING – These conversations will not be moderated by Women’s Aid so we ask that you respect the guidelines of the forum and be extremely careful about sharing any identifying information or details of court cases.
  • It is also important to respect each other’s wellbeing so if someone feels unable to respond, please do not take it personally and give them space. You are under no obligation to respond to messages.
  • If someone is being abusive or breaking the forum guidelines you can report this behaviour by taking a screenshot of the message and emailing it to the moderator [email protected] 

Notifications

You can now subscribe to individual threads of conversation or topic areas so when you login you can see all of the activity that has happened since you last logged in.


Groups

This is also a new feature and will be managed by the moderators so it may be a while before this is up and running. In the future we may use groups to hold live support sessions with groups of survivors who want to talk and share experiences on a particular subject. We will keep you posted on the development of this.


Deleting your account

If you want to leave the forum but keep your posts there for others to read, contact the moderator and we will handle this for you: [email protected]

To learn more about any of these functions read our FAQs which contain handy guides to help you navigate the forum. FAQs

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Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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