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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.


Identifying and responding to domestic violence in antenatal care
Key findings and future directions

This is an edited summary of key findings from ANROWS research Sustainability of identification and response to domestic violence in antenatal care (The SUSTAIN study).

The aim of this study was to understand and support the integration of evidence-based, effective screening, risk assessment and first-line response to domestic violence (DV) into the complex system of antenatal care.

  • DV is prevalent among pregnant women using antenatal services.
  • Women using antenatal services find DV screening acceptable.
  • DV screening rates and referrals vary across different screening contexts and between urban and rural sites.
  • Health practitioners value woman-centred care that includes DV screening.
  • Rural and regional areas present specific challenges for DV screening and response.
  • A whole-of-system approach is required for sustainable DV screening and response.
  • This research proposes a new transformation model for implementing sustainable DV screening and response in antenatal care: the REAL Transformation Model.
Key recommendations
  • Implement a comprehensive system approach for optimal DV screening.
  • Implement standardised DV screening tools that incorporate screening and risk assessment questions, guide interpretation and referral pathways and provide tailored information for women.
  • Facilitate the implementation of tools with electronic record systems, by building bilingual capacity.
  • Resource clinics with onsite social work response capacity to support practitioners.
  • Implement, and properly resource, systems to ensure ongoing and updated data collection.
  • Evaluate program accountability and improvement over time to ensure value for money.



Publication details

ANROWS Research to policy and practice papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.

Suggested citation

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2020). Identifying and responding to domestic violence in antenatal care (Research to Policy and Practice, 06/2020). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS.

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