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Ensure voices of victims are heard and inform policy development and service delivery


Who is leading the change

  • Family Safety Victoria

The Victorian Government and agencies that respond to family violence identify and develop safe and constructive ways to ensure that the voices of victims are heard and inform policy development and service delivery.

  • Family Safety Victoria will ensure the key recommendations of the Valuing the Lived Experience Insights Report and the reports of the Implementation Monitor are applied through:

    • The development of a strengthened operating model designed jointly with the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council (VSAC). The strengthened model will include ethical guidance for engaging with people with lived experience of family violence and apply a trauma-informed approach.
    • The development of options to diversify and expand government’s approach to engaging with people with lived experience across other parts of government.
    • Engagement across government and the sector to grow, support and activate the emerging practice field of engaging people with lived experience.
    • Implementation of a client partnership strategy for The Orange Door network, including processes to collect client voice data, including feedback in languages other than English.
  • Recommendation 201 identifies the need to consult with and value the voices of those with lived experiences of family violence.

    Over the past five years, the Victorian Government has committed to listening to the expertise of people with lived experience to inform policy design and service delivery. Government has approached this by investigating, implementing, strengthening, and scaling approaches to embedding the practice of working with people with lived experience.

    Establishment of the Victim Survivor Advisory Council

    In 2016, Victim Survivor Advisory Council (VSAC) was established to ensure that the voices of victim survivors are heard and inform policy development and service delivery. VSAC has contributed to the development of foundational strategies including Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change as well as strategies for inclusion and equity, gender equity and primary prevention. VSAC has provided advice across multiple government portfolios, relating to the design of courts, intersections with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)External Link , behavioural change campaigns and the design of a family violence memorial.

    In 2020, VSAC renewed its membership, and based on learnings and lessons, strengthened its model. Family Safety Victoria (FSV) and VSAC worked together to refresh its Terms of Reference to best reflect trauma-informed and strengths-based practice.

    Raising Awareness & Shifting Perspective through Storytelling

    Government has engaged a broad range of victim survivors who have advocated for change and reform in family violence by sharing personal stories with senior government ministers, on video and as a keynote speaker at events. Government also worked with victim survivors on the Voices of Hope Project.

    Engaging beyond VSAC

    FSV is aware that VSAC is not the only channel for government to seek lived experience but can guide, and support government in developing a range of methods and approaches which keep people at the centre of policy or service development. This helps to reduce the burden of carrying responsibility for advice on lived experience.

    Over the past five years, voices of lived experience were included in:

    • A variety of advisory groups, including groups advising at a strategic level across the whole reform, as well as content specific groups focussed on prevention, children and families, diversity, perpetrators and risk assessment.
    • The development of The Orange Door network policies and client voice data, including people who use violence, Aboriginal people, young people, women exiting prison, LGBTIQ+ people and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.
    • The Nargneit Birrang Framework, an Aboriginal-led, community co-designed state-wide process developed a family violence holistic healing approach for Aboriginal communities across Victoria.
    • The development of the Aboriginal Access Points Concept Model, a model that provides service choice for Aboriginal families to access family violence services.

    Learning from Experience and Looking Ahead

    To sustain and continue to grow from the rich learning and influence that the Victorian Government has gained through valuing the expertise of lived experience, FSV plan to establish lived experience expertise and insights as an evidence base to shape and inform the reform in the years to come. FSV has identified and developed foundational requirements for the development of a Lived Experience Framework, which outlines approaches to bring the broader vision of embedding lived experience to life.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 22 September 2021

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