The PIPA project: Positive interventions for perpetrators of adolescent violence in the home (AVITH)

Project summary - PI.17.08

Perpetrator interventions strategic research priority 3.3: Models to address diversity

The PIPA project aims to improve evidence on the prevalence of adolescent violence in the home (AVITH) as it presents in different justice and service contexts; its co-occurrence with other issues and juvenile offending; and current responses and gaps in service delivery. This project has two separate but complimentary research approaches. 

The first will use: a literature review; quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, including interviews and focus groups with practitioners from courts, family violence services, ChildFirst, family services, legal services, youth and education services; court observations as well as a mapping of the legislative, regulatory frameworks along with policy and service responses across the three jurisdictions; to examine the prevalence of AVITH and current responses to it across Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Secondly, an Innovation Case Study is proposed using action research approach to track changes in legislation, policy and practice during the implementation of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations. The Victorian case study will provide learnings to support the development of integrated responses and practice in other jurisdictions whilst supporting local implementation through its action research based framework.

The research team will be supported by a project steering group enabling information exchange between, with and across sectors and to senior government officials. Changes in practice and ongoing gaps in service delivery identified through surveys of practitioners and by steering group members will support ongoing implementation and provide learnings for other jurisdictions.


Project lead

Ms Elena Campbell, RMIT University

Research expertise

Ms Jessica Richter, RMIT University
Associate Professor Rob Hulls, RMIT University
Dr Helen Cockburn, University of Tasmania

Practitioner expertise

Ms Jo Howard, Consultant
Ms Tanya Langford, Peel Youth Services
Ms Rosy Jolic, Victoria Legal Aid
Ms Maureen Kavanagh, Legal Aid Western Australia
Ms Ariel Couchman, Youthlaw 

Research partners

Establishment of a steering group including:

  • President of the Children’s Court of Victoria
  • Commissioner for Children and Young People
  • Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People
  • Assistant Commissioner, Victoria Police, Family Violence Command
  • Family Violence Program Manager, Victoria Legal Aid
  • Executive Director, Jesuit Social Service
  • Sexual Assault and Family Violence Program Manager, Department of Justice & Regulation
  • Youth Justice Manager, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Family Violence Program Manager, YouthLaw
  • CEO, Women’s Legal Service
  • Executive Director or Policy Officer, Domestic Violence Victoria
  • CEO or Policy Officer, No To Violence


On 27 April 2017, the Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) held a forum focusing  on Family Violence: Responding to the Next Generation at the State Library of Victoria. Facilitated by Associate Professor Rob Hulls, Director of CIJ.

Recording from the October 2017 forum, in Perth

Project length

2 years