The Family Violence Experts by Experience Framework


Ensuring the centrality of victim survivor voices and responding to the needs and experiences of clients from different communities and client groups was a key message delivered by the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (Recommendation 201).

Following the Victorian Royal Commission, the Family Violence Philanthropy Collaboration Project (FVPCP) was established by Domestic Violence Victoria to bring together representatives from the specialist family violence sector, philanthropic and government sectors to support a coordinated response to the implementation of the Royal Commission’s Recommendations.

This group worked with the family violence sector to identify a range of strategic areas for philanthropic investment to address some of the emerging needs of the specialist family violence sector. One of the projects funded was the development of a Lived Experience Framework for specialist family violence services.

The project was undertaken by the University of Melbourne and supported by Domestic Violence Victoria as part of the Family Violence Sector Capacity Building Program and generously funded by Gandel Philanthropy, the William Buckland Foundation, Give Where You Live Foundation, State Trustees Australia Foundation, the Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust and the Johnstone Gumption Fund and the Jump Start Fund, sub-funds of Australian Communities Foundation.

Suggested citation:
Lamb K, Hegarty K, Amanda, Cina, Fiona, and the University of Melbourne WEAVERs lived experience group, Parker R. (2020) The Family Violence Experts by Experience Framework: Domestic Violence Victoria. Melbourne, Australia.


To enhance the ability of specialist family violence services to provide opportunities for survivor advocates to influence policy development, service planning and practice.

Go to purpose

for best practice

Go to Principles

Evidence base

What does the literature tell us about effective ways to work with survivor advocates in service planning, improvement and policy development?

About Evidence base


What did victim survivors of family violence and practitioners tell us about their experiences and expectations?

About Consultation


What are some of the ways in which my organisation could consider involving survivor advocates in policy, planning and practice?

About Models


What resources are available to support my organisation to involve survivor advocates in policy, planning and practice?

About Resources

Project Team

The University of Melbourne, supported by Domestic Violence Victoria, developed the Framework. Key Safe Families Centre researchers on the project were Professor Kelsey Hegarty, Dr Katie Lamb and Dr Rhian Parker supported by Kitty Novy.

The research was co-produced with Amanda, Cina and Fiona who are survivor advocates from the University’s WEAVERS (Women and children who have Experienced Abuse and Violence: Advisors and Researchers) lived experience group.

An Advisory group oversaw the development of the framework and included representatives from a range of services supporting people experiencing family violence as well as a number of survivors.

The project included significant consultation with family violence services as well as focus groups, individual interviews and surveys of victim survivors.
For more information about the consultation process click here.

The project team would like acknowledge victim survivors and all of the practitioners who gave up their time to contribute to the framework’s development. The feedback you gave us about your experiences started some fantastic conversations and has significantly influenced the Framework’s design and focus.