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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.


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ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.



To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


Transformative social responses to domestic, family and sexualised violence: A qualitative exploration of Insight Exchange, a victim and survivor–centred initiative informed by response-based practice


This paper reports on a qualitative study exploring victims' and survivors’ and social responders’ experiences of Insight Exchange (see website below), an Australian-based victim and survivor–centred initiative informed by the Centre for Response-Based Practice. The evidence base for response-based practice is building in Australia and internationally as a safe, accurate and dignifying practice with victims and survivors of multiple and intersecting forms of adversity, such as domestic and family violence, violence against children, sexualised violence, colonial violence and racism. Response-based practice also provides tools and a framework for the development of accurate representations of violence (e.g. clarifying perpetrator responsibility, and honouring victims' and survivors' resistance to violence). The accurate representation of violence is a central goal for the Insight Exchange initiative, as accurate representations of violence can improve the quality of social responses to victims and survivors and prevent victim-blaming.


As accurate representations of violence and supportive social responses are essential components in responding to and preventing domestic, family and sexualised violence, the authors chose to study the Insight Exchange initiative given its unique and distinctive focus on this specific approach. This study aimed to explore participants’ experiences of Insight Exchange to identify some of the perceived benefits for victims and survivors and social responders and to identify limitations of the initiative.


The research project primarily utilised a qualitative research methodology, triangulated by quantitative survey data, in two phases. Phase 1 consisted of two web-based surveys powered by Qualtrics. One survey was developed for victims and survivors and the other was developed for social responders. Both surveys utilised a combination of qualitative response options, multiple choice, and Likert scale questions. Upon completion of the survey, participants from both cohorts were invited to participate in the second phase of the study. Phase 2 involved semi-structured interviews with victims and survivors of domestic, family and sexualised violence (who had shared their lived experience narrative with Insight Exchange) and social responders. This study involved 51 participants who completed an online survey (n=43 social responders, n=8 victims and survivors) and 16 participants (n=12 social responders, n=4 victims and survivors) who participated in semi-structured interviews.


The findings from this qualitative research project indicate that the work of Insight Exchange has contributed to improving the quality of social responses to victims and survivors of domestic, family and sexualised violence. To the best knowledge of the authors, this study is the first to study the Insight Exchange initiative and also contributes to the emerging literature on the application of response-based practice ideas. Several victim and survivor participants described the social responses they received from Insight Exchange staff members as having a transformational and “life-changing” influence. For many victims and survivors, speaking about their lived experiences of domestic, family and sexualised violence with Insight Exchange staff was the first time they understood their responses in the context of resisting and responding to violence. The success of the Insight Exchange initiative can be strongly attributed to centering the lived experiences of victims and survivors in conjunction with the work to translate and develop response-based practice ideas. The work of Insight Exchange offers a promising and accessible model to improve social, institutional and systemic responses to victims and survivors both within and beyond the formal service system. The model could be used in other violence prevention settings, for example anti-racism work, disability justice and LGBTQA+ and intersex human rights work.

Funding Body

University of Sydney Law Engagement Partnership Project (LEAP) Grant

Funding Budget


Project start date

July 2021

Expected completion date

June 2023
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