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Towards meaningful engagement: Key findings for survivor co-production of public policy on gender-based violence

Survivors with lived experience of gender-based violence are increasingly asking to be involved in developing and reforming public policy, and governments are beginning to engage survivors in co-production efforts.

For example, the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 centres lived expertise. It opens with a dedication to, and statement from, victims and survivors, alongside the message that “No meaningful solutions can be made about us without us.”

However, the role of survivors in the co-production of policy is under-researched, as are the public value and the risks. This new report contributes to addressing those research gaps. It provides crucial evidence to support the implementation of the National Plan’s opening imperative.

Findings from the report generated five key recommendations for policymakers:

  1. Independence in co-production:
    • Support and encourage survivors’ independence.
    • Engage survivor networks respecting their autonomy.
  2. Funding for survivor networks:
    • Contribute funding to independent survivor networks.
    • Provide training and ongoing support for co-production.
  3. Prioritise marginalised communities:
    • Prioritise co-production with survivors from marginalised communities.
    • Establish survivor networks and tailor mechanisms to their needs.
  4. Training and support for survivors:
    • Develop induction and training for survivors in policy and co-production.
    • Provide trauma-aware support and utilise existing networks.
  5. Policymaker training:
    • Ensure policymakers are trained in co-production benefits.
    • Encourage risk taking and power sharing.
    • Provide training in trauma-aware practice and ongoing mental health support.


Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS Research reports series. ANROWS Research reports are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.

Monash University

Suggested citation

Wheildon, L., & Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2023). Towards meaningful engagement: Key findings for survivor co-production of public policy on gender-based violence (ANROWS Insights, 05/2023). ANROWS.

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