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ANROWS Notepad | 04 June 2020
ANROWS Stakeholder Survey
Your views are important to us—we’d like to hear from you.
As a Notepad reader, you have valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of ANROWS’s resources. That’s why ANROWS is inviting you to complete our annual Stakeholder Survey.
Your response to the ANROWS Stakeholder Survey will help us understand who is using our resources and publications, how you are using them, and how we might improve the ways we communicate with you.
We are not collecting any personally identifying information—the data collected will be used in aggregated form to inform our future planning.
The survey will close at 11pm, Monday 15 June.
Investigating the growing problem of technology-facilitated abuse
The use of technology to facilitate sexual abuse and violence against women is a rapidly growing and serious problem.
Australian data shows that there is increased cause for concern during COVID-19. For example, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner has recorded a 200 percent surge in image-based abuse over March and April (when compared to the 2019 monthly average).
There is an urgent need for rigorous and current evidence on the extent of the problem in Australia, which will inform policy-makers and enable them to develop an effective response.
ANROWS is today launching a new research project to investigate the extent and impacts of this kind of abuse in Australia.
The research aims to better understand the nature and characteristics of technology-facilitated abuse, and to establish reliable national prevalence rates for victimisation and perpetration, including online sexual harassment, stalking, partner violence and image-based sexual abuse.
The project is part of a program of research under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services), and will be led by Associate Professor Asher Flynn from Monash University and Associate Professor Anastasia Powell from RMIT University.
Understanding complex trauma and women’s safety
“When you use the word illness, you’re saying that I’m sick. I’m not sick. I have a set of symptoms as a result of what was done to me. I’m not sick.” [Louise, study participant]
New ANROWS research led by Associate Professor Michael Salter from UNSW Sydney, “A deep wound under my heart”: Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence explores Australian policy and service responses for victims/survivors of gender-based violence who have experiences of complex trauma.
In Australia, one quarter of women subject to gendered violence report at least three different forms of interpersonal victimisation in their lifetime, such as child sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Exposure to multiple, repeated forms of interpersonal victimisation may result in complex trauma, which involves a range of traumatic health problems and psychosocial challenges.
The report highlights the need for professional consensus and shared frameworks of practice to understand and address complex trauma.
“The women we interviewed told us that complex trauma is impacting every aspect of their lives: mental health, physical health, relationships, safety, financial security,” said Associate Professor Salter. “They flourished when services addressed all trauma impacts rather than just focusing on a single issue.”
The report highlighted the need for improved understandings of intergenerational trauma, and for responses to those with complex trauma to be sensitive, coordinated and consistent between services and agencies.
KEY FINDINGS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
The role of multicultural and settlement services in the family violence system
Migrant and refugee women experience domestic and family violence at least as much as women in the wider population, and they face particular barriers to accessing the services that can help.
Multicultural and settlement services can offer a key avenue of contact with migrant and refugee women, who may engage with these services soon after their arrival in Australia.
Multicultural and settlement services supporting women experiencing violence: The MuSeS Project sought to identify how multicultural and settlement services can be better supported to assist women and children experiencing violence. The research was led by Associate Professor Cathy Vaughan at the University of Melbourne’s Gender and Women’s Health Unit, and conducted in partnership with the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health in Victoria.
Professor Vaughan said recently arrived women faced challenges including lack of multilingual information, inconsistent use of interpreters, fear of deportation and financial barriers.
The report found that the capacity of these services to respond is strengthened by staff training, organisational support structures, and community connectedness, but undermined by limited funding and service scope, and limited options for referral.
This report contributes to ANROWS’s growing body of evidence relating to migrant, refugee and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and their experiences of domestic, family and sexual violence. Two recently published projects look at interventions with domestic and family violence perpetrators from refugee backgrounds and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Projects with Action Research, which focussed on the prevention of violence against women and creating safer pathways to crisis and support services.
KEY FINDINGS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
Working with women who have experienced complex trauma in mental health and refugee services
1–2pm (AEST), Thursday, 18 June
Complex trauma is best understood as multiple, repeated forms of interpersonal victimisation resulting in traumatic health problems and psychosocial challenges. Women with complex trauma have often experienced multiple forms of trauma in childhood, followed by revictimisation—including domestic and family violence and sexual assault—in adulthood. This commonly occurs within a context of domestic and family violence.
Practitioners across all health and social sectors, including mental health and refugees services, frequently come into contact with women who have experienced complex trauma. However, the term ‘complex trauma’ neither consistently nor well defined in policy or practice.
Drawing on findings from ANROWS research Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence, this webinar will host a panel of researchers, practitioners and survivors with lived experience to discuss:
- survivors’ and professionals’ understandings of complex trauma
- how these different understandings impact practice and women’s experiences of services
- trauma-informed care in mental health and refugee services.
Strengthening capacity for multicultural and settlement services to support women experiencing violence
3–4pm (AEST), Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Multicultural and settlement services provide a wide range of supports and programs to newly arrived migrants and refugees, and people from multicultural communities who are settled in Australia. These services regularly receive disclosures of, or otherwise become aware of domestic and family violence.
This webinar will unpack new ANROWS research, ‘Multicultural and settlement services supporting women experiencing violence: The MuSeS project’. The expert panel of researchers and practitioners will discuss:
- how multicultural and settlement services regularly encounter and respond to clients who are experiencing violence
- the strengths and constraints impacting service provision
- key recommendations of the research for policy and practice.
This webinar is designed for practitioners and policymakers working in refugee, migrant and settlement services, and domestic and family violence services.
STOCKTAKE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION INITIATIVES: SURVEY
The Australian Government Department of Social Services has engaged Deloitte to conduct a stocktake of sexual violence prevention initiatives in Australia. You are invited to participate in a survey to better understand and coordinate efforts to prevent sexual violence and harassment.
This survey will focus on information about the sexual violence and sexual harassment primary prevention initiatives at your organisation.
New resources and reports
Easy English guides: accessible information about technology-facilitated abuse and image-based abuse, as well as practical pathways to support—eSafety Office
Webinar: Workplace Rights for Domestic Violence Leave–Women’s Legal Service NSW, 11am, Wednesday 1 July 2020
Books and reports
You can access this list and all the other articles in Notepad in the ANROWS Library.
Toward an Effective Workplace Response to Intimate Partner Violence, Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Changing Police Officers’ Attitudes in Sexual Offense Cases: A 12-Month Follow-Up Study. Criminal justice and behavior.
Digital or Digitally Delivered Responses to Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence During COVID-19. Preprint submitted to JMIR Public Health and Surveillance.
In the media
Family law and parenting in the time of COVID-19–Legal Aid NSW
Advocates welcome fresh inquiry into family violence–ABC Radio National
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