As we are coming to the end of 2022, it’s a great time to reflect on the highs and lows of the last 12 months.
This year, in what is now a ‘living with Covid’ era, it has been lovely to reconnect with the wonderful women who work and volunteer at Survivors’ Network. Over this time, we held several opportunities to come together in person, including a gorgeous summer picnic where staff (and dogs!) hung out in Preston Park and an uplifting, creative team day where we began strengthening how we work together.
I was especially pleased to attend this year’s Rape Crisis Conference in person (after two years online) with five of my brilliant colleagues. It was inspiring to connect with other parts of the Rape Crisis network and see some of the amazing work going on across the country and feel the strength of being part of a stronger campaign for good.
Trustees have paid a huge role this year in supporting the development of Survivors’ Network and I want to specifically give a shout out to Sophie Gibson and Trisha Brandon for working with the team on developing our values:
- We are Compassionate
- We are Brave
- We are Empowering
- We are Collaborative
It’s been lovely seeing these values in action over the year.
And finally, moving into a post-Covid world has given us the perfect opportunity to rekindle our intention to putting survivor voices at the heart of everything we do. Using our values and commitment to intersectional feminism as a framework, we have improved how we listen to survivors and ensured that they are the shining light guiding our work. I was delighted to stand alongside service users, colleagues, friends and family at the Brighton Pride Parade, support survivors to create a film about the importance of being believed, and listen to powerful survivor testimony at our Annual General Meeting in November.
However, this year has also been woven with challenge and 2022 was the year when a service user brought legal action against us for welcoming trans women into our women-only spaces. The sadness, worry, and diversion of time, energy and resources that has accompanied this has been difficult all round, but we remain committed to our trans inclusive ethos and to supporting all survivors.
So, to close off for the year, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to our allies and supporters, our wonderful staff and volunteers, and to all survivors and service users. I wish you all a warm and comforting festive period and renewed joy in 2023.