*The Intervoice Safety Agreement was introduced and accepted by the group to guide the way we will develop the Australian Hearing Voices Network. *
As members of the Hearing Voices Movement, we are inspired by the way Hearing Voices Groups offer a safe space for people to share their experiences, beliefs and ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. These groups can, at their best, be special spaces where members accept a diversity of experiences, being curious about difference rather than defending a particular standpoint.
The issues discussed at Intervoice do not exist in a bubble, separate from the world. They have deep personal, social, ethical and political significance and, as such, often involve passion and emotion. Many of us, whether we have experienced voices/visions or not, came to this movement because of a desire for change. Equally, many of us have experience of being unheard, excluded, belittled, invalidated, victimised, hurt and oppressed. The passion that drives this movement is amazing, but we also recognise the need for us to continually work together as a movement to ensure we create safe spaces that enable us to explore the issues that matter to us in a way that is respectful and validating.
After reflecting on the values that underpin the movement, the Intervoice board are keen to encourage a similar atmosphere within any event or meeting that is held in our name. We feel it is important that the values we all hold so close to our heart are carried with us into all of our activities.
*To support this, we ask that people attending events hosted or supported by Intervoice (online or in person) …* Keep warmth, compassion and empathy at the heart of our discussions.
Ask questions, challenge ideas and remember that you have a voice as an individual within this movement. We are stronger because we are diverse. Listen to one another and respect the beliefs and experiences of us all Be curious about differences of opinion, rather than defending our own perspective.
We encourage people to take responsibility and ownership for their actions and reactions, creating a safe and welcoming space for all.
If at any time, someone doesn’t feel safe within our events, it is ourB collective responsibility to address any issues that contribute to this