Voices of Experience

Voices of Experience

Voices of Experience are written insights and reflections from people with lived experience of domestic and family violence and other adversities.

The participants are the authors of the written insight, and in some pieces, the Insight Exchange team have inserted content from the Follow My Lead resource as headings to help orientate the reader and to build understanding of the lived experience of violence.

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.

More Voices

We listen to voices of lived experience wherever we can.

Our responsibility is to listen. Our opportunity is to learn through listening. Our challenge is to change through that listening - changing ourselves, our work, and our shared world.

Now you have heard us, what will you do? Young people’s experiences of domestic and family violence - Over six months the ACT Children and Young People Commissioner and the Family Safety Hub listened to the voices of 70 young Canberrans, 35 of whom had experienced family violence. This document shares their insights. Read more about the project on the ACT Community Services Safer Families Family Safety Hub.

Breaking Silent Codes - A movement of Aboriginal, Torres Strait and Pacific Island women that gives voice to the ways in which community, religion, authority and family create silences around sexualised assault and family violence. The original forum was sponsored and hosted by UNSW Arts and Social Sciences, Women’s Legal Service NSW and the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence.

Crossing the Line – An exhibition and report which shares the lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Australia. The project was funded by ANROWs and conducted by researchers based in the Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University.

Supporting U - Supporting U is a project by Settlement Services International (SSI) designed to leverage the strengths of women leaders within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities. The initiative is designed to leverage the leadership capabilities of women within multicultural communities. "Community ties are very strong and varied. The role of our Supporting U Leaders is invaluable to the community as they are allies for women in their communities in times of crisis."

On the SSI website (see link above) you can view six vignette videos of first person accounts. These examples reflect lived experiences from Africa, East Asia, Middle East, South East Asia, South Asia, as well as regional Australia, depicting challenges when supporting migrant women in a regional setting. (Insight Exchange was honoured to participate in the Supporting U program as a guest speaker in the Learning Circles in 2021).

Stanley on the Shoulders of Giants

Copyright © 2021 by Shelly Dean (Bonnah), Kalie Mcintosh, Cathy Richardson.

Stanley on the Shoulders of Giants  is a children’s book developed by a group of professionals who have worked in the field of domestic violence for many years, and have specialized in understanding how children respond to and resist violence. The book is written for

  • Children who have experienced violence
  • Parents who are helping their children
  • Professionals who work for children
  • People who have perpetrated violence who are interested in understanding children’s experience of violence. It is a book for those who care about creating safety, including freedom from fear, for all children.

Additionally, the book provides reflection questions to engage individuals in conversation about family violence and abuse.

This project was generously funded by the Women and Gender Equality Canada. Collaborating organisations include Centre for Response Based Practice and Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter.

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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