Welcome to our project to research and record the history of Bristol Crisis Service for Women (BCSW).  

Started by local women in 1986 as a feminist collective, BCSW grew into a national charity in the 1990s. Its groundbreaking research and highly respected training changed how women using self injury were treated. Its non-judgmental, non-directive helplines helped thousands of women feel heard and held in times of crisis.  In 2014 BCSW changed its name to Self Injury Support to better reflect its purpose  and we’re still going strong. 

Over the next year we will interview former staff and volunteers at our pioneering organisation to document its successes and challenges. How did BCSW survive when many other peer-led organisations fell by the wayside? Why is self injury a feminist issue? How can listening become such a powerful tool for change? Why did everyone love the training so much!? 

Help us find the answers to these questions and more as we learn about BCSW’s past to pass on knowledge to the women activists of the future. 

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