Survivors’ Forum Terms & Conditions
New users must read the Terms & Conditions before you can register to use the Survivors’ Forum.
Who can use the forum?
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. If someone is identified as posting about a third party situation, such as a friend or relative, these posts will be removed.
If you’re a trans woman who’s experiencing domestic abuse, please contact Galop’s LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 999 5428 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Wednesday and Thursday 10am to 8pm), their Live Chat is open between 5pm and 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday, you can also email or join their LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Survivors Forum.
If you are a man who is experiencing domestic abuse, please contact the Men’s Advice Line.
If you are a professional/researcher/journalist – this forum is for the sole purposes of survivors supporting each other through discussion. We have a wealth of information on our website so please use the link below to find statistics and information about domestic violence and the work of Women’s Aid. Alternatively, find your local domestic violence organisation here.
The Survivors’ Forum is NOT a direct help service.
If you need urgent help, please call 999 or use 999 BSL for a British Sign Language interpreter to connect you to emergency services. You can also seek support from the Women’s Aid Live Chat service, open 8am-6pm Monday-Friday, and 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday.
Endorsement and accuracy of information
Women’s Aid does not endorse, support, represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of any information posted, or endorse any opinions expressed.
Any reliance on material posted will be at your own risk. You agree not to hold Women’s Aid responsible for any messages posted on our forum that may contradict our terms, and that you will not consider legal action against us.
Registering for the forum
Whilst anyone can read messages posted on the forum, you must have a valid email address to register on the forum before you can post a message.
We ask that everyone who posts makes the effort to respect all other views and does not to attempt to force any personal views or opinions onto others. We expect those who post to accept others’ comments in the way they are meant, as in support and information sharing.
Deleting and editing of posts
By posting on Survivors’ Forum, you agree that Women’s Aid has the right to edit, censor, delete or otherwise modify any posted message.
You will have 5 mins to edit any of your posts after you have posted them but you can delete or “Trash” your own posts at any time. You cannot delete topics so will have to contact the moderator if you wish to have these removed.
Removal of objectionable messages
Any member who feels that a posted message is objectionable must contact one of the moderators immediately using the “contact moderator” facility. Moderators have the ability to remove objectionable messages and they will make every effort to do so within a reasonable time frame, if they determine that removal is necessary. This is a manual process, so they may not be able to remove or edit particular messages immediately.
Data protection and privacy
The Survivor’s Forum offers a confidential online service and insists that principles of confidentiality are integrated in all aspects of the survivors forum to safe guard the rights of forums users.
However, there are exceptions to this rule where information can be shared without the user’s consent (sometimes referred to as ‘breaching confidentiality’). Information about a user can be shared under the following circumstances:
- where the user is disclosing information about an act of terrorism
- where a court orders Women’s Aid to disclose information
- where there is reasonable cause to suspect that an adult’s life may be in immediate danger
- where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child or young person may be experiencing or at risk of experiencing significant harm (see below).
Women’s Aid is also able to view and block your IP address if you break the forum guidelines or these terms and conditions.
If your access to the Survivor’s Forum is terminated or suspended for any reason, you must not access the forum or create a new profile without our prior consent, or the new profile will also be suspended.
Contempt of Court
Contempt of court happens when somebody risks unfairly influencing a court case. It may stop somebody from getting a fair trial and can affect a trial’s outcome. This can include commenting on a court case for example on social media or on an online forum.
Do not post any details regarding court proceedings. We cannot allow discussions on details of a case as this could affect the case.
Do not post a comment which could damage the reputation of a named organisation or individual – this is called libel and is against the law.
Women’s Aid is clear that even if a child is not being directly hurt, witnessing physical, verbal and emotional abuse can have a serious detrimental effect on him/her. Women’s Aid aims to give each woman space to explore her options and support her to make safe choices for her and her children.
However, if we consider a child is at risk we have a duty to take appropriate action to minimise the risk of harm. This may include working with a woman to contact Children’s Services or, where necessary, making a referral ourselves.
Your username is just for you
Please note that each User account is specifically intended for that one User alone. Please ensure you choose a username which cannot identify you i.e. does not include name, children’s names, birthdays etc. Usernames which cause offence will not be accepted.
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.
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.
Please understand if people do not feel safe sharing identifying information in private messages, and respect that they don’t have to share anything they’re not comfortable with. If you need support around this, please email [email protected].
You agree to respect the privacy and wishes of those users who you have been privately messaging. You must not pass on details to third parties (except Women’s Aid) without permission.
By sending or receiving a private message you consent to that message being viewed by Women’s Aid or its representatives, where Women’s Aid have been notified of a problem or a breach of these Terms and Conditions.
If someone is being abusive, breaking the forum guidelines, or terms and conditions you can report this behaviour by taking a screenshot of the message and emailing it to the moderator: [email protected]
Translations appearing on the forum may have the occasional inaccuracy due to the limitations of the translation software.
If you are using the translation feature on the accessibility toolbar, please continue to post in English as our team cannot moderate in multiple languages. You can read the site in other languages but posting in other languages is currently not supported.
If you are using the function to download an audio file, please save the file in a safe place only you have access to. This is something to be mindful of if you share your device with anyone else, or if someone else can access your device in any other way.
If you are using plain text mode, please be aware that the exit site button does not appear at the side of the page as all design and formatting coding is changed in this version. The link to exit site will be posted at the bottom of each page in plain text mode.
Posting a link
Links are allowed on the forum, but only for the purpose of sharing useful information about domestic abuse. Links are not allowed for other purposes outside the context of this subject area e.g. advertising. Inappropriate or unhelpful information will be removed from the forum by moderators. Where third party websites are linked to and from this website, we do not endorse or have any responsibility for such other websites or their contents.
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.
When uploading an image to the site, anything potentially identifying or inappropriate will be removed. Examples of this would include screenshots of text conversations, photos of you or your family, or any imagery of physical abuse. While we understand the need to document your experiences or share details of your life with other survivors, we need to make sure that your posts on here cannot be traced back to a particular person.
Spamming, flaming or advertising is not permitted
Any form of advertising, either commercial or private, or any commercial messages are not permitted on this forum. As a user you agree not to make commercial posts or comment spam or attempt to disguise such spam as content. If you are not sure please check with the moderators.
You must ensure that any material submitted by you will not (a) infringe the intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; (b) breach any applicable law, whether criminal, or otherwise; (c) be defamatory, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive, harassing, threatening; (d) mislead other users or third parties, including content falsely made to appear from or be endorsed by us; or (e) transmit or transfer any viruses or malicious programs or code intended to spy on gain control over, disrupt, destroy or in any other way impair any computer hardware or software or other equipment.
If you are found to be posting inappropriate content (including misleading content, malicious software, commercial posts or inappropriate imagery), your post will be edited or removed by a moderator.
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.
The Survivors’ Forum is for the sole purpose of survivors supporting each other through discussion in a safe space. It is publicly available for the benefit of other survivors who may not yet be ready to join as a member. Due to the nature of the forum, it is therefore not appropriate to be used for research purposes and using it in this way raises a number of ethical concerns. For example:
- We at Women’s Aid cannot give consent on behalf of the survivors that post on the forum. Whether or not we believe your research to be for a good cause we cannot know if a survivor would be willing to be a participant.
- A survivor who has posted on the forum is unlikely to expect what she has written to be made available in other places. As a researcher you must be aware that a complete guarantee of anonymity is not possible when it comes to people who know you very well. Therefore, it could be very upsetting or even dangerous to use the words of a survivor intended for the forum in a research paper or other format.
- Survivors of domestic abuse are considered a vulnerable group under most ethical research guidelines and therefore carrying out research on them without their explicit consent raises ethical issues. Unfortunately, there is a history of misuse of data when it comes to research on domestic abuse.
Please take these factors into consideration when it comes to carrying out your research. The safety of survivors is our primary concern at Women’s Aid. For information on carrying out research on domestic abuse please see our research integrity framework.
We have a range of up-to-date statistics, materials, and reports available via our online evidence hub that may be of interest to you.
Please send all complaints to the moderator via the email address, [email protected]. Any member posting complaints on the forum instead of following the Complaints Procedure will be deemed to have breached the Terms of the User Agreement and will risk having their account closed.
By registering for this forum you are deemed to have agreed and understood the above and you indemnify Women’s Aid from any resulting damage.
Women’s Aid may change or replace these Terms and Conditions at any time, without prior notice to you. Please review these Terms and Conditions regularly. Continued use of the Survivor’s Forum after the Terms and Conditions are updated means you agree to be legally bound by the updated Terms and Conditions.
Last updated 2023.