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Our research

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.


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.

Webinar: Accurately identifying the person most in need of protection

Webinar: Accurately identifying the person most in need of protection

  • 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Wednesday, 25th November 2020 - Wednesday, 25th November 2020
  • Webinar - AEDT

“He was all calm and collected by the time they got there; I was the one that was going off smashing everything and all the rest of it and that’s why I had the orders put on me because that’s what they walked into, but I had marks all over me … [but] they came into me being the one that was screaming and me—yeah.” (Woman, focus group participant)

The 2017 Annual report of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board found that a high proportion of female victims, and nearly all Aboriginal victims, of domestic and family violence (DFV)-related deaths had been recorded by police as a perpetrator of DFV on at least one occasion. The Advisory Board specifically recommended research on how to best identify and respond to the “person most in need of protection” (Recommendation 16). Recognising the national significance of misidentification of victims as perpetrators of DFV, ANROWS conducted the research reported in ‘Accurately identifying “the person most in need of protection” in domestic and family violence law’.

The research report focuses on the gap between the intent of the law and its application, factors that contribute to women being misidentified as perpetrators of DFV, and areas for improvement through procedural guidance and professional development for police and courts.

These themes will be addressed in a panel discussion facilitated by Ms Sam Mostyn, Chair of the ANROWS Board with:

  • Dr Heather Nancarrow, CEO ANROWS & lead author of the report
  • His Honour Terry Ryan, State Coroner and Chair, Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board
  • Inspector Ben Martain, Manager, State Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit, Queensland Police Service
  • His Honour Colin Strofield, Magistrate, Brisbane Magistrates Court

The panel discussion will be followed by a live Q&A.

This webinar is designed for:

  • Policymakers, systems-wide practice design decision makers, and practitioners working in police, courts, justice and domestic and family violence services.

The webinar is open to any-one and free to attend. A recording of the webinar will also be available on the ANROWS website.

Enquiries: rachel.pow@anrows.org.au



Dr Heather Nancarrow
Dr Heather Nancarrow is the CEO of Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS). For more than 35 years, Heather has worked to address violence against women, including in community services and advocacy, government policy, and research.

Heather is an Adjunct Associate Professor at UNSW and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University. Her scholarship is focused on justice responses to violence against women, particularly as they relate to violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Heather’s book, Unintended Consequences of Domestic Violence Law: Gendered Aspirations and Racialised Realities was published in 2019 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Ben Martain
Inspector Ben Martain has been a police officer for 23 years, having joined the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in 2001 and also having performed duties with the New South Wales Police Force and the Australian Crime & Intelligence Commission. Ben has held positions as a Criminal and Internal Investigator, Police Prosecutor, Senior Lawyer and a frontline Police Regional/District Duty Officer. Ben is the current Manager of the QPS State Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit.

Ben was admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland as Barrister in 2006 and holds a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Business Administration and Master of Applied Criminology and Police Management. He was awarded the Wakefield Scholarship from the University of Cambridge in 2019.

His Honour Terry Ryan
Terry Ryan is qualified in both social work and law and has worked in a range of settings over a 36 year career. He graduated with Bachelor of Social Work from the Queensland University in 1983 and worked as a social worker in the fields of juvenile justice and child protection for seven years. After graduating in law he was admitted as a solicitor in 1991. From 1992 to 1993 Terry worked in private practice as a solicitor. From 1993 to 2013 he was employed in legal and policy roles with the Queensland Government and worked on a range of significant legislative projects in the justice portfolio.

At the time of his appointment as State Coroner, he was the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. He was also appointed to the Criminology Research Advisory Council and the Supreme Court Library Committee. Terry was appointed as a magistrate and as State Coroner on 4 July 2013. He has chaired the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board since it was established in 2016. He was previously the chair of the School of Justice Advisory Committee at the Queensland University of Technology from 2013 to 2018.

His Honour Colin Strofield
Magistrate Strofield was appointed as a Magistrate in March 2008. His Honour currently sits in the Domestic Violence listings in the Brisbane Magistrates Court. He was seconded for a two year period to assist with the implementation of the Specialist Domestic Violence Court at Southport. Prior to his appointment His Honour was the Queensland Police Service solicitor for some 13 years.

Facilitated by:

Sam Mostyn
Sam Mostyn is a non-executive director and sustainability adviser, with a long history of governance roles across business, sport, the arts, policy, diversity, indigenous and women’s affairs, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her corporate roles have encompassed purpose, culture and human resources, corporate and government affairs, community engagement and sustainability.
Sam is Chair of ANROWS, and also Chairs the Australian Women Donors Network. She has long championed gender equality, and was the first woman appointed to the AFL Commission. In that role she contributed to the work on policies for the inclusion of women at all levels of the game, and the introduction of the Respect & Responsibility Policy. She was an advocate for the creation of the AFL Women’s league and was the 2018 AFLW Cup Ambassador.


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