Our work in developing and evaluating a range of domestic and family violence interventions demonstrates the essential learnings gained through talking to those interventions are designed to serve.
My colleague, Christina Bagot and I, recently reflected on our combined years conducting research and evaluation in the domestic and family violence space. We made several key observations, although one resonates particularly strongly for me this week, as NSW considers the development of legislation to prevent coercive control: the critical inclusion of the victim-survivor voice in our work.
While considerations of victim-safety must remain paramount, to ensure the risk of re-traumatisation is avoided, our work in developing and evaluating a range of domestic and family violence interventions demonstrates the essential learnings gained through talking to those interventions are designed to serve. The adage ‘nothing about us without us’ rings strongly throughout so many areas of our work. In the case of coercive control, where the abusive behaviours are often highly nuanced, understanding the specific nature, scope and impact of coercive control would be truly impossible for law-makers without the inclusion of the brave voices of victim-survivors.
Fifty organisations and witnesses are due to give evidence before the hearings over the next few days. Enormous respect and gratitude should be paid to those courageous victim-survivors and their families and friends, willing to share their stories to inform future legislation and protect the people of NSW.
To learn more about the research and evaluation work that we do in this space, please reach out to our team.