As a site created for the purpose of “sharing our stories” and for offering a way for those who find the Hearing Voices groups and approach useful to “meet” one another over vast distances, OurVoicesRaised has developed the following Code of Conduct. Each member of our community is asked to consider and aspire to hold to this code in an effort to create an online space where each person can feel valued, appreciated and heard. This values-based approach to being with one another maintains that there are no absolutes, and therefore strongly relies on each person to act intentionally to hold to this set of values.
Code of Conduct:
- Because we believe that our stories are important, we will only tell our own stories, as others’ stories are not ours to tell.
- Because we believe that there are many ways to understand our world, we will not impose any one way of thinking about a topic, but instead welcome the diversity that exists within our community into each conversation.
- Because we hold deep respect for each person’s sense of what they need, we will ask before offering feedback or suggestions.
- Because we understand that assumptions get in the way of creating meaningful connections, we will aspire to notice and challenge our own assumptions, and approach each relationship with curiosity.
- Because we understand that human growth requires taking risks, we will celebrate both success and failure, understanding that we learn and display particular strength when moving through difficult times.
- Because we understand that human relations can be messy, we will approach conflict with openness and curiosity. We will “step toward” the person we are in conflict with and respectfully work through to find commonality.
- Because we believe that diversity of experience and identity makes us a strong community, and because so many of us have experienced being marginalized, put down or left out, we will always aspire to be inclusive in all ways possible. We will not ostracize or put down any individual based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, size or other aspect of appearance, religious beliefs and so on.
- Because we understand that each person’s experience is entirely unique, we will avoid using broad brush descriptions or labels when describing people and things. We further understand that “broad brushing” and “labeling” creates broad categories that contribute to lose of context and meaning.
- Because we understand the value that each of us brings to the community, we will always strive for mutual relationships, never assuming one person brings any more to a relationship than another and holding that we each have much to offer.
- Because we are creating a special place specifically for our stories, we will avoid promoting products or services.
- Because we understand that our experiences of hearing voices, seeing things or moving through other unusual or extreme states is generally held as taboo by most, because we understand that disclosing these experiences can have negative consequences in many situations and because we honor having a space where none of that is true, we will always appreciate a person’s choice to remain anonymous in our community so long as they hold to the code of conduct.