Principles to guide our work

These principles were developed to respond to the rapidly changing context of the family violence reforms.

To guide the Victorian Government’s evolving work with lived experience, FSV and VSAC members co-designed principles that will support the transition into the next phase of our work together. These principles were developed to respond to the rapidly changing context of the family violence reforms. They highlight the values that will anchor and sustain the relationship between government and people with lived experience.


We listen, acknowledge and learn from the expertise of people with lived experience.

“You shouldn’t ask a victim survivor to speak unless you are willing to radically listen.”


Both government and people with lived experience benefit from the work they do together.

“Stepping into the more strategic work, has been such a healing time for me. Having come through years of being squashed and pushed down, not being appreciated for who I was. To come into a situation where people showed interest in what you had to say and were willing to engage… this has been hugely healing for me.”


We include voices that reflect the diversity of people that are impacted by family violence in our work.

"Diverse and marginalised communities are often not thought about at the start of processes. It’s almost like an afterthought. We need to keep asking, who are we forgetting and why are we forgetting them?."


We ensure our work with people with lived experience leads to action and outcomes.

"It is easy to feel you’re failing. Why do I bother? Where is change happening? It is important for people with lived experience to have the feedback of the work they are doing. This is what we contributed to. This is how it helped to improve that service, that program."


We are transparent, honest and reliable in our interactions with people with lived experience.

"I had a very clear understanding of what was required of me and was given preparation time and materials ahead of engagement. It was helpful to know what I was engaging on, to feel supported, to build positive beginnings with people I’m working with."


We have processes and guidance to support safe working relationships.

"It is a tough gig to dip into your trauma. People don’t always appreciate what they are asking of you."