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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.


Season’s greetings and reflections on the year we had

Before we head our separate ways into the holiday season, I would like to thank each of you for your continuing support of ANROWS. Once again, this has been a year where our work addressing and responding to violence against women and children has been beset by the challenges of working within a global pandemic. Australia has risen to this challenge admirably with multiagency collaboration and efficient decision-making processes showcased on the international stage.

Through the National Plan Advisory Group and other mechanisms, we have worked collaboratively with all Australian governments and key data agencies to achieve the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–32. This plan will guide us through the decade ahead under the bold aspiration of ending violence within a single generation. The 2022–32 National Plan will dovetail with an update to our national research agenda, and ANROWS will continue to drive Australian research toward identified evidence gaps.

ANROWS’s success in driving the uptake of evidence by policymakers and practice designers working to address violence against women and children is captured in our 2021–22 Annual Report. Evaluation of our impact, detailed in the annual report, has revealed that during 2021–22, ANROWS has been very effective in ensuring that policymakers and practice designers who are working to address violence against women are increasingly influenced by evidence. Further, ANROWS has been particularly effective in achieving strong recognition as a leading and authoritative voice around research on the prevention of violence against women, and in building a credible evidence base that is influencing policymakers and practice designers working to prevent violence against women. It has been an honour to enter into my second year leading this high-performing organisation.

The ANROWS team will be taking a well-deserved break this holiday season, with our office shutting at the close of business on 23 December 2022 and re-opening on 3 January 2023. With the National Plan heralding new hope that we might see women and children live free from violence within our lifetimes, I wish you all a restorative break before we begin the hard work of making this vision a reality.

Padma Raman PSM 


READ THE 2021–22 Annual report


Help-seeking journeys of victims and survivors and people who use violence

In the wake of the new National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022–2032, it is essential to not only hear but to amplify the voices of victims and survivors. That principle underpins newly published ANROWS research, where victims and survivors described “carrying the burden alone” as they navigated the path to healing and recovery.

This project is also Australia’s first study to explore the help-seeking journeys of people who use violence. Participants who had used violence identified a need for help to release emotions and regain stability, and wanted the same things from service providers as victims and survivors: to feel listened to, and not feel judged.

One finding that has enormous implications for policy and practice is that both victims and survivors and people who use violence were more likely to seek help from their friends and family than from professional services. This pointed to a need for “healthy relationships” training, and training for family and friends to be able to respond to disclosures of violence. Unpacking key recommendations from the reports was a key focus of the launch webinar, which attracted nearly 600 people.

“Any role that involves working with people involves working with families, and when you are working with families, a percentage of your clients will be experiencing or using violence. It is everyone’s responsibility”, said Lily Fetter, midwife and advocate, in the webinar. The expert panel also reflected on the introduction of “allies training”, community first responder training and the use of “care navigators” to provide emotional support and guidance through the service system.

ANROWS CEO, Padma Raman PSM, spoke to the research in a keynote address at Western Sydney University’s 16 Days of Activism event, “Collaborative approaches to addressing gender and sexuality- based violence in Greater Western Sydney”. She focused on key findings relating to people who use violence, such as the concerning discovery that over a third of participants who had used violence believed that violence was a normal part of their relationship. These findings, Ms Raman emphasised, underscore the need to focus on perpetration. However, she said, “the shift in the conversation to focusing on perpetration does not mean a shift in our driving goal: the safety of women and children.”




Are you #ReadytoListen to older women’s experiences of sexual assault?

The need for family and friends to be able to respond to reports of sexual violence with the skills to connect victims and survivors with support was also raised at the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) launch of the Charter of Sexual Rights in Residential Aged Care. The importance of focusing on older women’s experiences of sexual violence is underscored by recent ANROWS research findings that showed 26 per cent of women aged 68 to 73 have experienced sexual violence.

At the launch, Yumi Lee, CEO of the Older Women’s Network NSW (OWN NSW), reported that “deep shame” was a barrier to older women reporting sexual violence. Feeling ashamed was also cited as a barrier to help-seeking by 63.2 per cent of victims and survivors in Professor Kelsey Hegarty’s ANROWS study.

The #ReadytoListen project was funded by the Department of Health and led by OPAN and OWN NSW. At the heart of the project is a “MAP” (myths, facts and practical strategies) that outlines 10 ways residential aged care service providers could improve their responses to – and prevent – sexual assault. Check out the resources on the OWN NSW website.


Australia gets a dedicated Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner

Australia is now one of only three countries in the world to have a dedicated domestic violence commissioner. Micaela Cronin, a social worker and former President of the Australian Council of Social Service, has been appointed as Australia’s first Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner.

Ms Cronin told the ABC, “I’ve spent my career working to support women and children. I started out as a social worker working in a women’s refuge, I feel very passionate about contributing to the change that we need to see.”

The commissioner role is central to the oversight of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–32, released in November. It is envisaged that Ms Cronin will be responsible for reviewing the progress of the National Plan, tracking and reporting on its outcomes, and determining whether the goal of ending violence against women is on track. ANROWS looks forward to working with the Commission and Ms Cronin, as we progress our research agenda against the National Plan’s framework and agenda.


Unpacking the new legislation for employers

The Respect@Work Bill has now become law, placing the onus on employers to prevent sexual harassment and create a safe workplace culture. The bill adopts seven more of the 13 recommendations for legislative reform from the landmark 2020 Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report.

These new laws prohibit hostile work environments on the grounds of sex, place a positive duty on employers to maintain safe work environments, and enforce workplaces to comply with the new legislation (with a 12-month buffer for the commission to help organisations prepare).

Our CEO, Padma Raman PSM, joined FutureWomen’s expert panel to unpack the new legislation in conversation in with gender equality advocate and Diversity and Inclusion Director, Tarang Chawla.

She explained, “We’ve got some really big attitudes that we need to shift, and the wonderful thing about this legislation coming in at the same time as the family and domestic violence leave is that we are recognising that workplaces are an important site to change norms and structures, and the way in which women are seen in society more broadly.”

Some of these attitudes in Australian workplaces are captured every four years by ANROWS in the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS). The 2017 survey found, concerningly, 14 per cent of survey participants believed that men made better managers or supervisors than women. To learn more about Australian’s attitudes towards violence against women, visit the NCAS section of the ANROWS website.

The Government’s Respect@Work portal has a number of excellent resources for employers and workers, such as the risk identification tool that can help individuals and workplaces to identify hostile work cultures.


Economic security and intimate partner violence

With a clear focus on the nexus between women’s safety from intimate partner violence and their economic security, a recently published ANROWS research synthesis contributes to the discourse surrounding the need to focus on bolstering women’s economic security, particularly in light of findings from Anne Summers’s The Choice: Violence or Poverty, and findings from a report based on data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) panel that assesses the financial consequences of partner violence.

The synthesis pays particular attention to what the economic stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed about the relationship between economic insecurity and experiences of intimate partner violence, and addresses the negative impact that intimate partner violence has on victims and survivors. It reiterates that women’s economic equality and workforce participation are essential components of women’s economic security, and their safety, and includes a section on the relationship between the social security system and women’s ability to leave violent relationships.

The publication of the synthesis coincided with an appearance by our CEO at the ASX where she spoke on a panel held for White Ribbon Day 2022. To a very engaged audience, Ms Raman spoke about the effects of COVID on domestic violence, the impacts of domestic violence of women’s economic security, and supports workplaces can offer – in addition to paid leave – to support victims and survivors of domestic and family violence. The synthesis speaks to these issues and more, and it is now available through the ANROWS website.

Did you know?

Eliminating intimate partner violence will help to close the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. ANROWS’s Intimate partner violence. An avoidable burden on the health of women and their children infographics help to outline why:




New research and resources

This edition of Notepad includes a range of new Australian research across the ANRA 2020-2022 topic areas of economic abuse and health, primary care and specialist service responses.

Professor Kelsey Hegarty, along with Associate Professor Laura Tarzia, co-authored a research paper published recently in the Medical Journal of Australia, titled “Transforming health settings to address gender-based violence in Australia”. This research is open-access and available through the ANROWS Digital Library. Professor Hegarty leads the ANROWS Fourth Action Plan research project “Transforming responses to intimate partner and sexual violence: Listening to the voices of victims, perpetrators and services”, two reports from which were published this week.

You can view the list of new research, along with over 10,000 records of sector-relevant resources and research, in the ANROWS Digital Library.



AVITH in Context—Outcomes, Practice and Evidence Network (OPEN) Child and Family Services

Online facilitated sexual violence (support and resources)—Say it Out Loud


Books and reports

Allen, D., & Orifici, A. (2022). Understanding pregnancy discrimination: A pilot study of Victorian women’s experiences at work. Monash University. https://issuu.com/monashbusinessschool/docs/understanding_pregnancy_discrimination_allen_orifi

Australian Human Rights Commission. (2022). Time for respect: Fifth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. AHRC. https://humanrights.gov.au/time-for-respect-2022

Buiten, D. (2022). Familicide, gender and the media. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-5626-3

Centre for Women’s Economic Safety. (2022). Making a difference: International responses to economic abuse. https://cwes.org.au/publications/

Fitzpatrick, C. (2022). Designed to disrupt: Reimagining banking products to improve financial safety. Centre for Women’s Economic Safety. https://cwes.org.au/publications/

Hirsch, R. (2022). The extent, nature and impact of family, domestic, and sexual violence (FDSV) against women in the Australian sex industry: A state of knowledge paper. Project Respect. https://assets.nationbuilder.com/projectrespect/pages/2069/attachments/original/1669675005/Extent-nature-and-impacts-of-FDSV_State-of-knowledge-paper.pdf?1669675005

ORIMA Research. (2022). Evaluation of eSafety Women’s disability workforce and frontline worker program. eSafety Commissioner. https://www.esafety.gov.au/research/evaluation-disability-workforce-frontline-worker-program 

Royal, K. (2022). Economic abuse: A global perspective Findings on the prevalence and nature of economic abuse, and responses to it. Surviving Economic Abuse. https://survivingeconomicabuse.org/economic-abuse-a-global-perspective/



Easteal, P., Bartels, L., & Dodd, S. (2022). Professional stakeholders’ views of the Family Violence Law Act 2016 (ACT): Has law reform achieved its primary aims? Monash University Law Review, 47(3). Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.26180/21541404.v1

Hegarty, K. L., Andrews, S., & Tarzia, L. (2022). Transforming health settings to address gender-based violence in Australia. Medical Journal of Australia. https://doi.org/10.5694/mja2.51638

Heward-Belle, S., Lovell, R., Luong, M., Tucker, H., & Melander, N. (2022). Misunderstandings, misalignments, and motivation for changing systems: Professionals’ accounts of working with families experiencing domestic and family violence in the child protection system. Social Work & Policy Studies: Social Justice, Practice and Theory, 5(1). https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu.au/SWPS/article/view/16435

Hourani, J., Jarallah, Y., Block, K., Murray, L., Chen, J., Hach, M., & Vaughan, C. (2022). How structural and symbolic violence during resettlement impacts the social and mental wellbeing of forced migrant women: The lived experiences of Arabic speaking survivors of IPV resettled in Melbourne, Australia. Conflict and Health, 16(1), 59. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-022-00494-6

Kutin, J. J., Russell, R., & Reid, M. (2022). “I didn’t even know it was a thing”: Australian young adults’ experience of economic abuse. Health Promotion International, 37(6). https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daac152  

O’Donnell, M., Usher, R., Burrow, S., Nguyen, R., McKenzie, A., & Fisher, C. (2022). Victim-survivors, family and domestic violence service providers and support people: Identification of priority issues for research and translation into policy and practice. Global Social Welfare. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40609-022-00249-4

In the media


Most small businesses feel effects of domestic violence on staff, but are ill-equipped to manage impacts—ABC News

Research reveals alarming link between family violence and suicide in WA —ABC News 

Women are furious about the Lehrmann trial outcome. Men should be too—Sydney Morning Herald

NSW passes law to make coercive control a stand-alone offence in an Australian first—The Guardian

Harassment survey shows slow progress—The New Daily

The money trap: Australian women drag banks to the fight against relentless financial abuse—The Guardian

“This is not spoken about’” Gold, cars, property demanded in cases of dowry abuse—Sydney Morning Herald



AVITH in Context: Understanding the lived experience of young people using violence in the home [webinar]—Presented by Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Dr Silke Meyer

Family courts to screen for domestic violence risk—ABC News



Addressing gender-based violence, with Professor Kelsey Hegarty—MJA Podcasts

The Too Hard Basket: Migrant women and the health system—SBS podcast

Contribute to Notepad

When space permits, ANROWS will share external sector-relevant research, resources, opportunities, study recruitment and events in Notepad. Forward items for consideration to enquiries@anrows.org.au.

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