Victim Survivors' Advisory Council

Putting people with lived experience of family violence at the heart of the reform agenda.

The Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council (VSAC) was created to give people with lived experience of family violence a voice and ensure they are consulted in the family violence reform program.

It was formed in July 2016 to represent all ages, genders, demographics and communities. Rosie Batty was our first chairperson.

Our role

  • Place people with lived experience at the centre of family violence reform.
  • Include people who have experienced family violence in service design of family violence reforms.
  • Advise on how family violence reform initiatives will impact on people who use services.
  • Ensure the government’s response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence meets the expectations of people with lived experience.
  • Ensure advice to the government reflects the diversity of the family violence experience.
  • Provide advice on specific issues requested by the Family Violence Committee of Cabinet and/or the Family Violence Steering Committee.

Our members

Find personal stories from each of our members.

Rosie Batty's story

Layla's story

Message from the Victim Survivors' Advisory Council

The Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council includes representatives from a variety of age groups, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds who share the traumatic lived experience of family violence.

As victims of family violence we have been betrayed of our personal power, our voices and our safety. The Royal Commission into Family Violence recognises that there is great power in the lived experience of victims and survivors and that sharing our stories is important.

Our voices are now at the heart of the reform agenda. Silencing victims protects the perpetrator, condones their behaviour and robs victims and survivors of their dignity. This is the time to hear our voices and break the silence.

The Victorian Government has recognised that by working together we can create systems that support people who are affected by family violence.

We know what it’s like to be ignored. We know what it’s like to experience system shortcomings. We know what it’s like to be victim blamed.

Yet the painful reality of the family violence which we have endured is that it can happen to anyone, regardless of their cultural, ethnic and socio-economic background. We know this. We feel this.

It is everybody’s business to break the silence and meet victim survivors with compassion and empathy.

At the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, we are leading the way. Our most vulnerable days are behind us and we are driving cultural change. Some voices have been permanently silenced. To those who have died through family violence, our community apologises for failing you. We do this work in your honour.

We represent all ages, genders and demographics, from children and adolescents, the Aboriginal community, to culturally and ethnically diverse communities, people with a disability, LGBTI communities, and elders.

Our drive, passion and voices are jointly dedicated to contributing as a powerful group to ending family violence.

Historically, victims of family violence have been failed by systemic shortcomings and cultural attitudes that have enabled our plight and caused us to suffer silently.

That stops now. Our voices represent all of us—those impacted by family violence, and those for whom the system must improve to keep us safe.

We are the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council and we are here to make a difference. The Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council brings the strength, resilience and lived experiences of victim survivors to our reforms.

Reviewed 02 January 2020

Family violence reform

Contact VSAC

Victim Survivors' Advisory Council Department of Health and Human Services

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