The Long Story Short collaboration (formerly known as Storylines) began as a means to collect qualitative data about the experiences of women around sexual and reproductive healthcare in regional Victoria.
Women from communities in our regions – north-east Victoria, the Goulburn Valley and Loddon Mallee – submitted their stories online to provide a valuable lived experience perspective.
We collected stories about a broad range of topics, from Endometriosis, PCOS, libido, menopause, pregnancy care, menstruation, abortion and contraception. We heard about the unique challenges of seeking sexual and reproductive healthcare in small communities.
Now the teams at WHGNE and WHLM have expanded and extended the project, with a focus on identifying the barriers to access and areas for improvement in sexual and reproductive healthcare in regional and rural Victoria.
In order to grow the original model, this iteration of Storylines has kicked off with the formation of a Community Advisory Group, which has engaged on issues of sexual and reproductive healthcare and identified areas for improvement and possible solutions.
The next phase of the Long Story Short project is to bring this rich lived-experience data to a diverse group of health professionals and contribute a layer of sector-specific experience, which will further inform the project.
Through the collection of stories from our communities WHLM and WHGNE can better understand women’s experiences and more effectively advocate for sexual and reproductive health services and information for our communities that is rights-based and provided to women in a way that is non-judgmental, easily understood, culturally sensitive, free from discrimination, affordable, geographically accessible, and sex positive.
The data we collect will also provide WHGNE and WHLM with the information we need to effectively develop and deliver targeted resources and education to build community knowledge about women’s sexual and reproductive rights, and grow women’s confidence to navigate the health system, describe symptoms and self-advocate when accessing services.