chapter  1
4 Pages

Introduction

The argument which underpins this book is that it is necessary to reframe the way we think about the women who use domestic violence services and to see them as part of a service user movement, similar to other user movements which have lifted the voices of their members in recent years. Women experiencing abuse may be part of the women’s activist movement against domestic violence, and are quite likely to have used services

provided by it, but they have not generally been viewed as part of a service user group in their own right. One question which this book asks is why not. We will discuss how we can change both the practice and policies of agencies, and also the way that this issue is thought about in theoretical terms, so that abused women service users can be both heard and heeded. Thus, our arguments will be contextualised within theorising about user movements and new social movements more generally, and will then be developed in practical, concrete ways. The book looks at how much the voices and views of domestic violence survivors are currently seen as contributing to the policy process and goes on to illustrate ways in which these voices can be more effectively involved in service planning, provision and delivery.