Advocates for Change

Engender Equality provides support and administration to a lived experience group called Advocates for Change.

Advocates for Change are a group of family and sexual violence survivors who proactively represent their experiences of abuse as well as discussing the improvements needed in the service and legal systems.

Advocates have received media and public speaking training to develop skills, confidence and support to speak publicly about their experiences.

To find out more about the Advocates for Change program, call Engender Equality on 03 6278 9090 or email admin@engenderequality.org.au.

See updates here.

Why a lived experience program for victim-survivors?

Why a lived experience program for victim-survivors?

Unlike other community populations people who have experienced family violence have been absent from activities and partnerships that value their expertise. The voices, perceptions, wants and ideas of people subjected to violence and abuse is frequently missing from decision making, policy design and service provision.

Co-design is a community engagement approach currently being endorsed in Tasmanian as a mechanism for building the durability and relevance of policy and services. Under this approach, people who experience violence and abuse should be consulted as experts in the design of policy and service that affect them. Real mechanisms for meaningful consultation and engagement that acknowledges and values lived experience is long overdue.

Engender Equality has seen firsthand that when women with lived experience of family violence have space to consolidate, integrate trauma into their lives and reclaim their sovereignty, they emerge as determined, dedicated and highly inspirational individuals.

- Self-representation restores agency to the survivor by allowing the survivor to dictate how they want their case represented publicly.

- Survivors telling their stories in public reduces the stigma and discrimination of violence and abuse, and enables other people to come forward to report abuse/assault and seek services and justice interventions.

- There is no substitute for the expertise that lived experience survivors have as authorities on the subject of gender, criminality, policy and other issues that relating to the response and prevention of gender based violence.

- Broadcasting survivor’s stories holds perpetrators to account. The responsibility of men’s violence against women lies with men and any mechanism that protects perpetrators for being accountable (the lack of survivor voices/stories) needs to be challenged.