A series made from the oral histories collected by the Women Listening to Women project
This short podcast series was made by producer Marnie Woodmeade from the oral histories collected by the Women Listening to Women project. The series explores different aspects of Bristol Crisis Service for Women’s history, celebrates the power of empathy and listening as agents of radical change and contemplates the past, present and future challenges of running a service for women and girls that is intersectional and inclusive.
Trigger warnings: These podcasts contain discussion of self injury, self harm, sexual abuse, childhood sexual abuse, depression, anxiety and suicide.
In the inaugural episode of Gentle Activism, we focus on the Bristol Crisis Service for Women's helpline and the incredible women who made it possible. The helpline was designed to be a safe space for women and girls using self injury to talk about their lives to other women who understood. We explore what motivates women to volunteer on the helpline, what impact it has on them and the women they listen to, and how they support one another to give the care the helpline callers deserve. Episode 1 Transcript
This episode looks at how Bristol Crisis Service for Women helped to change society's view of self-injury and how medical professionals treat it. From its roots as a local feminist collective, through its groundbreaking research into self injury among different marginalised communities, to its current position as the only national self-injury helpline, Bristol Crisis Service for Women fought for the inclusion of user voice.
This episode considers the historic and future challenges and opportunities of running a service for women and girls. Since the organisation’s foundation in the 1980s the use of self injury has grown among many marginalised communities while the funding available for services that help those using self injury has not kept up. Given the historic link between women experiencing male violence and using self injury, should the organisation ever offer its services to men as well as women? And how can it provide a truly intersectional, inclusive service to all the communities that need its help when funding is increasingly scarce? This episode considers all those issues and more.