We Are Not Service Users

People should not be defined by the services they use, services should not treat people as their property.

Author: Glyn Butcher

These are my words and thoughts and are not affiliated to any other person or group.

Why won't services listen to us? 

We are not service users. I find this term seriously oppressive, offensive, devaluing, discriminatory and disempowering. Stop using this wholly inappropriate use of negative language by referring to people with life experiences of using services as service users.

We are people with lived experience, we are human beings, We are citizens, we are members of our communities.

I define who I am, not you. 

You don't get to define who I am because I use a service, or have a hidden disability. It makes my blood boil and makes me deeply upset.

The second matter of concern is this term our service users; when did we become yours

When did you start owning me as your property? When did my life stop being my own? 

You're not my master you don't control me - yet another term that is disempowering to people with lived experience which creates powerlessness. Stop using the term our service users.

If you want a discussion to understand why I find this offensive I'm happy to have one. I will not be attending your events until you change your language about me and people like me.

We are not service users, patients, clients, or any other derogatory term people choose to use. I find these terms of describing citizens of Doncaster who use services offensive and disempowering. These negative terms place an unnecessary inequality between people and services.

I'm going to make a stand now and vote with my feet and I won't attend events and I will leave any online meeting that refers to me and people like me as service users.

The publisher is Citizen Network Research. We Are Not Service Users © Glyn Butcher 2022.