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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.

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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.

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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.


Guidelines for practitioners and clinicians in the sexual assault and alcohol and other drug sectors
Posted in News

Guidelines for practitioners and clinicians in the sexual assault and alcohol and other drug sectors

Monday, 29th August 2016


While 17% of Australian women and 4% of men have experienced sexual assault since the age of 15 years, and 5% of Australians have a substance abuse issue, cross-evidence and practices are rarely shared across sectors in a systematic way. We also know that, in Victoria in the ten years to 2010, the rate of clients receiving alcohol and other drug (AOD) specialist treatment has risen by 61%, and the rate of alcohol-related assaults has risen by 26%. So how might a service provider deal with clients’ sexual assault trauma and substance abuse issues? What services are available for referrals and consultations? What are the barriers to service provision and how can advocates and counsellors respond to these complex, interrelated issues?

The ANROWS-funded research Establishing the Connection examines the intersections between AOD use and sexual victimisation and trauma. The study captured how AOD and sexual assault services currently work together in Victoria. The aim of the research was to identify how these sectors can better respond to the needs of women and families affected by co-occurring sexual abuse and substance use.

The research report along with the practitioner and policy recommendations published by ANROWS have informed a set of guidelines to assist service providers. The guideline identifies the relationship between AOD use and sexual assault and provides tips for clinicians and practitioners in addressing the needs, consultation and referral of victims and survivors affected by sexual assault and substance use. Explore the infographics below to learn some key statistics and actions that experts across sectors can take when working with clients. 

Note: Statistics current at time of research report publication, May 2016.



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