Voices of Insight

Voices of Insight are de-identified narratives of people’s lived experience of domestic and family violence and other adversities. The narratives have been developed through the Insight Exchange interview process designed to affirm agency, uphold dignity and support safety.

These narratives aim to provide a more accurate account of what has occurred through highlighting the ways in which a person has resisted and responded to the violence used against them. They explore the context in which the violence has occurred, and how people, services and systems responded to victims of violence and how these responses were helpful, unhelpful or harmful.

  • Zoe - ‘The sexualised violence I experienced as a teen does not define me – I refuse it that.’
  • Sam  "'She would have been wriggling in his lap.'"
  • Lainie  'I withdrew from the world to be safe.'
  • Angela  'I had to go along with it and be the good Catholic girl.'
  • Ruby  'He understands the system and how to play it.'
  • Bec  'My earliest recollection of violence is from when I was six.'
  • Brianna  '"I will go after your family."'
  • Maya  '"He's bound to be upset."'
  • Melissa  'His biggest threat was, "I will take the children."'
  • Sandra  '"You've got to realise you have duties here."'
  • Rose   'I feel like there's an agenda behind everything he does.'
  • Sophie  'I didn't know what financial abuse was.'
  • Sally  '"You're ok... He never hit you."'

Acknowledgement and thanks | The Insight Exchange team would like to thank each person with lived experience of domestic and family violence who has generously shared their insights for the benefit of others.

We acknowledge that no matter how accurate the representation of someone’s experiences of violence and adversity, we can never fully understand all that the experiences mean to a person now or through their life.  We understand that no one’s life experience can ever be fully represented in language or any other form.

Explore the Arts Lab 

The  Voices of Insight Collection is a series of original artworks inspired by the Insight Exchange Voices of Insight narratives. The initiative is designed to illuminate visual metaphors and symbols used by Insight Exchange participants as part of how they describe their lived experiences of domestic and family violence to inform social, service and systemic responses. 

Voices of Insight Collection Cover

Read more about the Insight Exchange Arts Lab


About economic abuse 

Explore the supporting my independence page which explains economic abuse and support for financial abuse.

Lived experience insights | financial abuse

The collection hosts insights based on interviews with people with lived experience of domestic and family violence focused on the financial abuse they experienced. The initiative to conduct the interviews was from an informal pro-bono collaboration by Rosie’s Place, WASH House, and the Mt Druitt Family Violence Team. The narratives were provided by the individuals for the benefit of others.

The interviews were conducted by Rosie’s Place and the narratives were assembled by the Insight Exchange team.

Open the collection of lived experience insights focus on financial abuse.

Acknowledgement and thanks | The Insight Exchange team would like to thank Rosie’s Place for conducting these interviews and providing these transcripts to Insight Exchange to ensure the voices of lived experience are able to help inform and strengthen social, service and systemic responses to domestic and family violence.

Open the list of lived experience insights about experiences of financial abuse

  • Deepa '"You are not my wife. I just keep you to work here."'
  • Amrita 'He only married me so he could keep me as a slave. I was tricked into marrying him.'
  • Tamara 'Meanwhile, he was pouring money through the poker machines.'
  • Maryam '"I told you three years ago that you need to leave that man”.’
  • Bronwyn 'He would try and make me get money from my mother as she was on income support as well'.
  • Amira 'His money was his money, and my money was our money'.
  • Belinda 'It was his way or no way.'
  • Anna 'Thirty dollars a fortnight for four kids.'
  • Renee  'Once I gave up work, my control went.'
  • Brittany  'I was like the ATM.'
  • Liz  'When you have nowhere to go, what do you do?'
  • Jasmin  'When he'd come around, money would go missing.'
  • Teresa  '"This is my home. I am the boss here."'
  • Rochelle  'I was a very independent person before I met this guy.'
  • Helena  'He would take the keys to the car to leave me without a car.'
  • Deb  'He must have had another bank account I didn't know about.'
  • Allanah  'He would use my money with the promise of paying it back.'
  • Jessica  'Nothing we'd had together was in my name, so I had nothing.'


Are you reflecting on your own relationships and experiences?

Are you reflecting on your own relationships and experiences of domestic and family violence? Explore more about My Safety Kit

Are you reflecting on experiences of or responses to sexualised violence? Explore more about My Dignity - My Body is Mine

What is Domestic and Family Violence?

Are you wanting to know more as a responder?

Explore Follow My Lead to know more about responding to someone who may be experiencing domestic and family violence.

View the My Safety Kit animation | An introduction for responders (2.5mins) 

What is Domestic and Family Violence?

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