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!

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


Launch of our first research project!


Launch of new research project on gendered harms in UK activist communities. 

This project aims to create knowledge about the lived experiences of harm, violence and abuse in radical activist communities in the United Kingdom. It has a particular focus on exploring the experiences of survivors affected by sexual violence including women, gender-queer and transgender individuals. We aim to critically explore how activist movements reproduce social power relations of gender, race, class and sexuality that shape experiences of harm, violence and abuse. The research also aims to discuss how useful the tools commonly used within activist groups to combat sexual violence are (for example reading groups, community accountability projects, calling out/in, zines, discussion groups and workshops, safe(r) space or zero tolerance policies). The goal is to co-construct knowledge and develop a network of survivors to work towards creating effective challenges to heterosexism within social justice movements and activist communities.

Call out to get involved in a research project on sexual violence in activist communities

Was your sexual abuser a high-profile activist? Have you felt unable to speak out about it? Or have you spoken out about it only to be accused of making it up and/or dividing the movement? Did your anti-state activism and/or experience of police brutality rule out going to the police? Were you able to kick out your abuser using other methods? Did the accountability process backfire? Did your abuser just move on to a different group and do the same thing to someone else? Was the trans community so small that you didn’t want your partner to lose it? Do you want to be involved in taking action and challenging sexual violence in activist communities?

We want to hear from survivors who identify as women, gender-queer or trans who are ready to talk about their experiences of sexual violence within current or past organizing in radical social justice movements in the UK. This may have happened once or multiple times, we are interested in hearing from folks with a variety of experiences of sexual violence including unwanted touching, flashing, harassment, stalking, sexual assault and rape.

The salvage collective aims to bring together self-identified women, queers and transfolks who have experienced gender oppression, violence and abuse in activist communities to share experiences, resources and  build communities of belief, support and action. We got together through a workshop on survivor-led approaches to gendered violence and abuse at AFem 2014. This is our first research project. We aim to develop resources, information and practical recommendations to work towards creating effective challenges to gendered violence, abuse and harms within social justice movements and communities.

If you are interested in getting involved and/or want more information about this research project:

Web: https://projectsalvage.wordpress.com/research
E-mail: julia.downes at open.ac.uk
Phone: Julia 01908 655455
Twitter: @Project_Salvage

Our project takes the issues of safety, confidentiality and research ethics very seriously. This project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at The Open University HREC/2015/2041/Downes/1