Mission Statement


Image by Emma Thacker

Survivor-led Challenges to Violence and Abuse in Activist Communities

To bring together women, transgender and non-binary people who have experienced gender-based oppression, violence, abuse and harm in activist communities to share resources and  build communities of belief, support and action.

January Newsletter

Check out our latest newsletter below. You can subscribe to our mailing list here.


It’s been amazing to meet so many people and thanks especially to everybody who contributed in some way to making the workshops happen last November and December in Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cardiff and London. We learned a lot and hope you did too!

We found the workshops challenging, energising and illuminating. It was heartening to see what people took away from the workshops, especially those committed to continuing discussions and taking action after the workshops.

We have some funding left over and we are aiming to spend it on skill-shares and training to further develop our expertise and capacity to facilitate shorter and more focused workshops in the future. Please do get in touch if you are interested in being involved in making future workshops happen.

You can read more about the workshops here and access the resources we used in the workshops including the presentation slides, reading and resources list, support services information sheet, information about activities and photos of flipcharts from the ‘what is abuse’ activity.

Next events

Saturday 1 April 2017 – Table and workshop at Liverpool Anarchist Bookfair, The Black-E, 1 Great George Street, L1 5EW

Wednesday 12 April 2017, 2-4pmChallenging gendered violence, abuse and harms across critical spaces’ Engaged Scholarship seminar. The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA.

  • Vanita Sundaram (University of York) – Universities Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence
  • Anna Bull (Portsmouth University) & Tiffany Page (Goldsmiths) – 1752 group
  • Lena Wanggren (University of Edinburgh)
  • Julia Downes (Open University) – salvage collective

If you would like to attend this seminar, please contact michelle.stevens@open.ac.uk

Check out

Sexual Violence and Accountability Learning Group – an informal learning and discussion facebook group about sexual violence and accountability. This is aimed at survivors and those who support them but those who are new to this work are welcome to use the space to educate themselves.

Articles, in case you missed them

Six key messages about sexual violence in UK activist communities – Open Democracy
Challenging sexual violence in activist communities – Peace News

B a c k   i n   s t o c k

If you missed out the first time round, we found a secret stash of salvage zine-reports. If you like the feel of a zine you can get one from our store here but you can always download a PDF version for free here

You can also pick up a copy of our toolkit and download it for free here

We would love to hear about what you thought about our research project, if you’ve found anything useful or not useful, or if you have any ideas for future research.

You can read more about our first research project here.

We are currently working on a second edition of the salvage zine-report to take account of some of the main responses and criticisms our work has received so far.

G e t   I n v o l v e d!
The salvage collective is a small group of people who are interested in challenging gender-based oppression, violence, abuse and harm experienced by women, transgender and non-binary people in activist communities.
Our work aims to realise a community of support, belief and action by creating and sharing resources, workshops, training and skill-shares for activist groups, campaigns and organisations across the UK.

We are currently looking for more people who are interested in workshop facilitation. We can provide training and skill-shares including support with travel and expenses.

If you would like to get involved or just want to find out more, please get in touch thesalvagecollective@gmail.com
Lastly if there is anything else of interest relating to community accountability and/or safer spaces that you would like to make happen please just get in touch. It was such a pleasure to meet you all and feel inspired by the great work happening around the country!

Registration is now open for our workshops

Identifying, challenging and preventing gendered violence in your activist group, organisation and community
Free 1-day workshops facilitated by the salvage collective
The salvage collective brings together women, transgender and non-binary survivors and activists who experience gender oppression, violence and abuse in activist communities. We aim to provide a network to share experiences, resources, skills and build communities of belief, support and action.
We recently launched a zine-report and toolkit from our first research project to help develop knowledge and resources to challenge gendered violence in activist communities.
We are very happy to facilitate a series of free one-day workshops funded by the Feminist Review Trust across the UK:
Saturday 5 November: Glasgow Autonomous Space
Sunday 6 November: Next to Nowhere, Liverpool
Saturday 19 November: Broadacre House, Newcastle upon Tyne
Sunday 27 November: YMCA, Cardiff
Sunday 4 December: DIY Space for London
The workshops start at 10am and finish at 5:30pm at the latest. Food and refreshments will be provided. Activists of all genders are welcome.
Places are on a first come first served basis however if the workshops are over-subscribed priority will be given to activists with disciplinary, complaints, safer spaces, accountability and policy responsibilities.
For more information and to register for a place head on over to our workshops page.

You can buy our zine and toolkit online

Some people have asked how to get hold of a physical copy of the zine-report and toolkit. I have set up a big cartel store if you would like to buy a copy for cost price and have it posted out to you.

You can visit our store here: http://salvagecollective.bigcartel.com

Remember that the zine-report and toolkit will always be available online as free PDFs.

If you run a distro and you are interested in stocking our zine and toolkit please get in touch: thesalvagecollective@gmail.com



Our report & toolkit is out now!

Today we officially launch our report and toolkit from our first research project. It has been a lot of hard work and we have many lessons to be learned from it. We will post more reflections in time.

I hope that we have succeeded in our aim to open up a bit more space to talk about violence and abuse in activist communities. You can read more on our research page.

We will be at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies later today to discuss our findings, report and toolkit with some amazing speakers.

Content note: this zine contains discussion of survivors experiences of sexual violence and how those around them responded including: silencing, denial and blame.
Salvage Zine-report
Salvage Toolkit

Final report & toolkit launch event – Weds 21 September – Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

Registration is now open for our final report & toolkit launch event. We are very excited to have so many amazing speakers agree to come along and share their perspective on our research project and final report. The event is free, fully accessible, has a safer spaces policy and food/nibbles will be provided. Places are limited. You can register for a place here.

Gendered Violence in Activist Communities
The Salvage Research Project explored the lived experiences of harm, violence and abuse experienced by women, non-binary and transgender individuals in radical activist communities in the UK. This event will mark the launch of the final report and toolkit with a panel discussion of the key findings and implications for action and social justice.


Recent cases of high-profile male activists accused of perpetuating violence against women activists have highlighted a persistent culture of sexism and exclusionary practices within social justice movements.

Alternatives to the criminal justice system, such as safer spaces policies and community accountability processes, have been the subject of controversy and debate. However little is currently known about the contexts and complexities in which both harms and alternative interventions take place.


  • Dr Avi Boukli is Lecturer in Criminology at The Open University. Their recent work has examined anti-trafficking regimes and the financialisation of victim services, and they have broader interests in gender, sexuality, critical victimology and social harm. Avi is currently in the early stages of setting up the Queering Victimology project.
  • Dr Alex Dymock is Lecturer in Criminology and Law at Royal Holloway University of London. Her research interests include visual and cultural criminology, gender and sexuality studies, and feminist and queer perspectives on criminal law. Alex is currently in the early stages of setting up the Queering Victimology project.
  • Camille Kumar is Membership and Sustainability Coordinator at Imkaan, the umbrella group for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) organisations in the UK. Camille has worked in the ending VAWG sector/ movement for 15 years primarily in service provision for women experiencing VAWG. Camille is also a member of Black Feminists UK and Freedom without fear platform and is committed to developing and nurturing intersectional black feminist approaches in her work and her organising.
  • Dr Sarah Lamble lectures in criminology at the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London. Sarah’s research addresses issues of gender, sexuality and criminal justice, with a current focus on community engagements with transformative justice. Sarah is co-editor of the Routledge Social Justice Book Series and a member of the Reclaim Justice Network.
  • Salvage is a collective of survivors, activists and allies who aim to challenge endemic sexual violence and inadequate responses to sexual violence within radical social justice movements. The research project was conducted by the Salvage research collective: Dr Julia Downes is a Lecturer in Criminology at The Open University, Karis Hanson who works at Solace Women’s Aid and Rebecca Hudson who works at Crossroads Women’s Centre.
  • Sisters Uncut is a feminist direct-action collective who are united by a desire to campaign for better domestic violence services

Safer spaces policy

There is a safer spaces policy in place for this event, available to view here. Please email thesalvagecollective@gmail.com for further information. The safer spaces policy will be shared and explained at the beginning of the event.

Venue, time and date

September 21st, 2016 7:00 PM   to   9:00 PM
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
2 Langley Lane
London, SW8 1GB
United Kingdom


Six key messages about sexual violence in UK activist communities

The article I wrote (with the help of Karis and others) based on my reflections of the interviews we have done so far on the research project is now up on Open Democracy here

It was a culmination of thoughts and feelings from sitting in my house transcribing interviews for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year. We are now in our analysis phase so there is plenty more to come when we start to engage more with survivors’ stories(including a report/zine that we will launch in summer). The planning for the workshops also kicks off in February. We plan to do workshops in London, Bradford, Newcastle, Cardiff and Edinburgh during September 2016. These workshops will enable us to share our research findings and help to put them into practice.

If you are interested in hosting, co-facilitating or making sure your group and/or organisation gets the opportunity to attend please get in touch thesalvagecollective@gmail.com.

If you are a survivor and you are interested in being involved please contact julia (Tel: 01908 655455; E-mail: julia.downes@open.ac.uk)

Funding News!

fr trust logo



Some brilliant news to share. We have been awarded £4,434.90 from the Feminist Review Trust to deliver a series of workshops in London, Bradford, Newcastle, Cardiff and Edinburgh with social justice movement groups provisionally titled ‘How to Best Respond to Sexual Violence within your Organisation/Group’. They will run in summer 2016 after the salvage research project findings are launched. These workshops will enable us to share our research findings and help to put them into practice. Specifically the workshops aim to help activists identify and challenge sexism and abuse within their groups. More broadly they aim to transform social justice movements into safer, inclusive and more effective movements in which women can transform their lives and provoke social change.

We will start working on this project in the new year. If you are interested in hosting, co-facilitating or making sure your group and/or organisation gets the opportunity to attend please get in touch thesalvagecollective@gmail.com.