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Our research

Violence against women and 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.


News and events

ANROWS hosts events as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.



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.


Building Safe Communities for Women


The ARS initiative aims to provide support to the Building Safe Communities for Women and their Children (BSCW) projects funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to undertake action research.

This initiative includes support to design, implement and share findings of action research thereby contributing to the evidence base about what works in creating safe communities for women and their children in Australia.

See the video below, where Elizabeth Orr, Project Leader for the Action Research Support initiative at ANROWS, provides an overview of ARS. Discussion includes the action research process as well as information about ANROWS; the ARS Project Plan; and some examples of how to develop an action research project question.

Evidence to action and local action as evidence: Findings from the Building Safe Communities for Women and their Children Action Research Support Initiative

An Insights report on the findings from the Building Safe Communities for Women and their Children projects.


Building Safe Communities for Women and their Children: A compendium of stories from the field

This compendium to the Action Research Support Initiative report, outlines what projects did, what they learned, and what they see as the challenges to building safe communities for women and their children, so that other community-based projects might learn from, and then build upon, the local knowledge and practice shared in the stories.

Key details

Project Information

Project Summaries: Building Safe Communities for Women and their

Overview information about the 40 projects in the BSCW program.

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ARS resources

Action Research Support resources to assist in planning, researching, undertaking and reporting on action research projects. Resources include research methodologies and processes, measurement and evaluation tools and information about ethical research policies and requirements.

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Workshops held to assist in capacity building, project development and networking.

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Project Methodology and Values

The ARS project is designed according to principles of action research and with recognition that there are varying levels of action research skills, experience and expertise across the 40 BSCW projects. The ARS project will be delivered flexibly in three stages that each incorporate the following activities:

  • Planning
  • Action
  • Collecting
  • Reflecting

The values underlying the ARS project are that facilitating an exchange of information and utilising the skills of the combined projects will contribute to the knowledge base about what works to build safe communities for women and their children. The ARS project will be guided by a relational accountability that promotes reciprocity, respectful representation and the rights of the people participating in the research. The creation of a safe research learning environment and the use of reflective practice are integral to the research activities in this project. ANROWS will acknowledge the contribution of projects in any associated publications and presentations. In addition, our approach is based on principles that acknowledge and value practice wisdom and research evidence.


ANROWS is specifically contracted to provide the following support:

  • Workshops and webinars. Workshops will aim to be interactive and cover all aspects of the action research process. They will provide participants with opportunities to network with other BSCW projects and share challenges, experiences, and solutions. Webinars will provide follow up to workshops and allow participants to share their action research progress and discuss issues arising.
  • Resource development. This will include the development of action research resources, such as data collection and reflection templates. Other relevant publications and resources about violence against women and children will also be made available as part of the ARS project.
  • Individual project support. Support will be offered in planning and contextual analysis, strategies for implementing change, collecting and analysing data, and approaches to reporting and sharing findings. This will include onsite visits by ARS staff, as well as regular email and telephone support.
  • Publications and reporting. Templates will be developed to assist with report publication, resource production and other methods of sharing research findings. BSCW projects will be encouraged to share with each other tools and resources that they find useful in their work to build safe communities and action research.

Key project deliverables

Each project will be supported to:

  1. Develop and implement an Action Research Plan for their BSCW project.
  2. Implement community/stakeholder engagement processes to involve participants in the project.
  3. Document and reflect upon the action research process and outcomes of their project.
  4. Share findings within their organisation, with the other BSCW projects and other organisations in the sector.
  5. Consider sustainable strategies to embed reflective research practice into everyday work.
  6. Contribute to building the national evidence base about what works in building safer communities.


ANROWS is funded to cover the costs of ongoing staff support via telephone, email and skype, and at least one site visit to each of the BSCW projects. The costs of workshops including venue hire, refreshments and lunches, and action research resource materials will be met by ANROWS. It is expected that projects have a budget for up to two staff members to attend each of the workshops, covering transport, accommodation, and morning and evening meals.

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Contact ANROWS

PO Box Q389, Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230
Email: enquiries@anrows.org.au      

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