Safe and Equal is delivering a program of work to lead and support the family violence sector in best practice engagement with survivor advocacy into the future.
Embedding lived experiences within our work
The Royal Commission into Family Violence clearly identified the need to embed the voices of victim survivors in every aspect of the family violence system. To date, there have been some outstanding examples of work done within the sector to support and amplify survivor advocacy.
The Family Violence Experts by Experience Framework, delivered by the University of Melbourne and the WEAVERS, identified the need for a more comprehensive, coordinated, and consistent approach to working with survivor advocates in the design, delivery and evaluation of services, and the need for a survivor advocacy function within the family violence sector.
Safe and Equal is now continuing this work with the view to lead and support the family violence sector in best practice engagement with survivor advocacy into the future. This work aligns with the new Strategic Plan and demonstrates the importance of this work and the peak’s commitment to embedding the voice of lived experience in our work.
Expert Advisory Panel
The Safe and Equal Expert Advisory Panel was established in 2021. Members of our panel are victim survivors of family violence who support the work of the peak and other organisations by sharing living experience of family violence trauma, systems navigation, and journey. The Expert Advisory Panel is a formal mechanism to further embed the voice of lived experience at the peak and the family violence system in Victoria. This is part of the ongoing development of specialist family violence practice, which must always be informed by victim survivors’ own voice, lived experiences, knowledge and expertise.
Learn more about the Expert Advisory Panel.
Experts by Experience Framework Implementation Plan
In 2021, we began work to co-produce an Experts by Experience Framework Implementation Plan for our organisation. The plan was developed by survivor advocates from the Expert Advisory Panel and a group of staff from across the organisation. We were supported through the process by the University of Melbourne and the WEAVERS. The Experts by Experience Framework Implementation Plan identifies key activities at the unit, organisational and sector level to increase and monitor the best practice engagement with survivor advocates.
Understanding lived experience of family violence within our workforce
When talking about embedding lived experience, we must also acknowledge the role victim survivors have played in the sector over the years through their direct engagement as clients, self-advocates, expert advisors, researchers and research participants, and as leaders and practitioners within services. Additionally, it is important to examine our understandings of lived experience of family violence in our workforce and reflect on our culture and how this type of expertise is valued and harnessed.
Experts by Experience bulletin
We distribute a regular bulletin for survivor advocates and people working to support their advocacy within the specialist family violence system in Victoria and beyond.
The Experts by Experience bulletin keeps survivor advocates up to date with the work we are doing in this space, as well as emerging research, sector resources, and opportunities.
To receive this bulletin, we encourage you to sign up here.
Experts by Experience implementation resources
The Family Violence Experts by Experience Framework provides principles for best practice and a number of resources to support organisations to do this work. Additionally and in partnership with the Expert Advisory Panel, we have developed a suite of resources to support engagement with survivor advocates.
Access the implementation resources in the Resource Library.
Project funded by
The development of the Experts by Experience Framework was generously funded by Gandel Philanthropy, The William Buckland Foundation, Give Where You Live Foundation, State Trustees Australia Foundation, The Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust and the Johnstone Gumption Fund and the Jump Start Fund, sub-funds of Australian Communities Foundation.
The embedding lived experience in the peak program of work is generously supported by The Barlow Foundation, The Melbourne Women’s Fund, the Sidney Myer Fund and Transurban.