As survivors, we know what could have helped us, we know what hurt us.

Efforts to protect children from abuse which do not centre the wisdom of people who were abused as children themselves are fundamentally limited in their effectiveness.

‘Emma’s Project’ was always the temporary name for a much more collective effort for the protection of children, guided by the shared wisdom of survivors of sexual abuse during childhood.

After having read every single word from every single person who responded to the survey – three times over – ACF have a roadmap forward.

It is with pride that ACF share their survivor-renamed Our Collective Experience Project, and our first report from it: Hear us now, act now.

We encourage you to download, read and share this report with people you know who may be interested in the protection of children. The content of the report which includes extensive quotes from survivors is very powerful.

But also be aware that it may affect you as you read it. Seek out support if you find that it makes you feel distressed or upset. There are helplines in the report itself.

Read report here

While much national and international literature recognises the intersections
of family violence and sexual harm, there is as yet little research and policy within Australia generally, or within Victoria, that addresses the co-occurrence of family violence and sexual harm experienced by adult victim survivors.

This research conducted by RMIT begins to address this important evidence gap. It seeks to expand the knowledge base with respect to both the nature of victim survivor experiences of co-occurring family violence and sexual harm, as well as supporting improvement in effective service delivery within the family violence and sexual assault sectors.

Read full report here

Content warning: This article contains references to pornography and sexual acts.

Daniel is a youth advocate and consent educator. He says before we talk about consent, we need to address pornography’s pervasive message that women should and can be disrespected.

“Like many people I know, I didn’t receive sex-ed, or a sexual education, at school or at home. But I did learn about sex and consent. I received a comprehensive education from when I was 11 and first exposed to pornography.

It was an education that lasted 10 years and shaped my attitudes towards men, women, bodies, violence, respect, intimacy, consent and pleasure. I didn’t recognise the influence it had on me until I stopped consuming the content.

I realised watching porn was incompatible with my values of justice and equality and my intention to be respectful and empathetic. Watching porn meant my attitudes had been unconsciously moulded in adolescence.”

Read full article here

The Family Violence and Sexual Assault Workforce Pulse Survey (WP Survey) was conducted by Family Safety Victoria between September and October 2022.

The WP Survey explored the employment conditions, workplace barriers and career intentions of specialists employed by family violence and sexual assault organisations, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCO) and The Orange Door network (TOD) in Victoria.

The final sample is composed of 1,049 (completed and partial) responses, representing an estimated 35% of the total family violence and sexual assault specialist workforce.

Click here to read survey report

In April 2023, Whereto is running 2-hour Zoom workshops for people working in the women’s safety and adjacent sectors (1pm AEST Monday 24 April, 1pm AEST Friday 28 April). The focus of the workshops will be on how the Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission can meaningfully engage with victim survivors, services and the community. This consultation is being undertaken for the Commission.

People can register to take part via this link

Or by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]

Watch some family violence and sexual assault workers explain what a typical day looks like in their role, what motivates them and why they love what they do.

Watch videos here

“Welcome to the ‘by people for people’ issue of WithUs. In this issue, we’ve brought along a selection of top projects and people who’ve been very busy out there putting people with lived and living experience, their voices and perspectives right at the heart of their work. As usual, we’ll be skipping the glossy spin and getting straight to talking to those on the ground doing working with for real – because if there’s one thing I keep hearing on my travels, it’s that people want less buzzwords and jargon, more practicalities and people. If you believe in the power of working with, I hope that issue #3 leaves you reassured and hopeful that there are other excellent humans out there on the same path. That there is hope for this way of working to be the catalyst for change. I hope that you recognise the sweet smell of possibility in the stories and insights shared and that you use them to inspire and inform your own working with adventures.”

Read Issue 3 here

The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse are working to help keep children and young people safe, and are looking to learn from young people themselves about the best ways to hear their voices and get their input on projects, policy and the research the National Centre will produce in future. 

The Engage Project is a research opportunity for young people to connect with the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse (The National Centre) and let us know how we can best work with children and young people to hear their voices and learn from their experiences.

Click here to learn more.

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