Child Protection and Family Violence
ANROWS Notepad | 5 September 2019
National Child Protection Week
ANROWS research: protection of children affected by family violence
This National Child Protection Week (1–7 September), ANROWS is highlighting research about working with parents to better protect and support children who are exposed to or experience family, domestic or sexual violence.
The ANROWS research library contains a wealth of resources and information on this issue. Below is a selection of our key projects, both completed and currently in progress.
For a helpful summary of the ANROWS research in this area, practitioners and policy-makers should access our synthesis on The impacts of domestic and family violence on children.
The Domestic and family violence and parenting project studied how domestic and family violence (DFV) affects parenting capacity and parent–child relationships, including how DFV affects parents’ emotional health and parenting behaviours. Findings indicated that environments involving inter-parental conflict or DFV create significant risks for children, including compromised parenting from both a parent who has experienced DFV and needs support, and from a parent who has perpetrated DFV and has neglectful, manipulative, or abusive parenting behaviours. The research found there was continuing urgency for the development of holistic responses to family violence that include a greater focus on approaches that support restoration in parenting capacity and the repair of parent–child relationships.
Following the key findings, projects investigating the recovery and repair of parent–child relationships have been funded, and are currently underway:
The ‘Safe Nest Group’ pilot project is evaluating an infant-led group intervention for mother–infant dyads who have left violent relationships and are staying in refuge or other stable transitional housing.
RECOVER – Reconnecting mothers and children after violence is assessing the suitability of Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), a US model of care for mother-child dyads, in the Australian context. The approach aims to enhance relationships and reduce trauma for mothers and their pre-school aged children who are experiencing domestic and family violence.
Other ANROWS projects that have looked at child safety include the following:
PATRICIA: PAThways in Research In Collaborative Inter-Agency working explored the relationship between agencies, including specialist community-based DFV support services, and statutory child protection organisations. The project found that using the Safe and Together child protection approach, which is focused on the safety and wellbeing of the child, enabled child protection workers to reflect on existing systems and improve their collaborative practice, especially in holding perpetrators to account.
The project has since influenced practice in four states, led to the use of new tools and reporting, enhanced awareness of these issues and improved ability of those working in this field to identify areas requiring systemic change.
Invisible Practices built on the PATRICIA research by examining how family support and child protection services work with men who use violence, looking beyond the interventions of the criminal justice system to assess the usually ‘invisible’ work being done by family support and child protection services. The project explored ways to encourage communication and collaboration to bridge the gaps between the family law system, which values contact, and DFV and child protection services, who encourage or expect women to leave violent partners. The project produced a Practice Guide to support practitioners in implementing the key findings.
Examining the power of Child-At-Risk electronic medical record (eMR) alerts found that electronic alerts on patients’ health records may improve responses to children and pregnant women at risk of violence, abuse or neglect.
Further emerging research to look out for in this area includes Mothers and children with disability using early intervention services aims to improve practice for early intervention domestic and family violence services to better engage families with a child or parent with disability.
Fast facts: Updated fact sheet on the impacts of family, domestic and sexual violence
An updated edition of ANROWS’s Fast Facts: Impacts of Family, Domestic & Sexual Violence fact sheet is now available.
This second edition of the fact sheet draws on new data published in June this year by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019.
ANROWS has used this updated data to revise and refresh our one-page fact sheet, adding new information on specific vulnerable population groups as well as analysis of risks, prevalence, support services, and the impacts of family, domestic and sexual violence.
New Northern Territory project:
ANROWS is pleased to announce that we have been engaged by the Northern Territory Government to develop a domestic and family violence risk assessment and management framework (RAMF) and a common risk assessment tool (CRAT) in the Northern Territory. We are working with Jackie Burke Psychology and Consulting on this project.
The project coincides with the introduction of new information-sharing legislation in the Northern Territory, following amendments to the Domestic and Family Violence Act in October 2018, and links to ANROWS’s publication of the National Risk Assessment Principles for Family and Domestic Violence in 2018.
Collecting femicide data
Upcoming: new factsheet on the deaths of women
There are a number of dedicated groups in Australia working hard to highlight the issue of intimate femicide. One of these is the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network. The Network, established in 2011, is a collaboration between domestic and family violence death review mechanisms across Australia.
In 2018, after years of extensive work and collaboration, the Network published a groundbreaking data report, which analyses intimate partner homicides committed within the context of domestic and family violence.
In recognition of the importance of this data, ANROWS has developed a factsheet highlighting the key findings of the report, to be launched soon by the newly appointed NSW State Coroner, Magistrate Teresa O’Sullivan.
Sharing approaches: Roundtable
At a national femicide data collection roundtable hosted by the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre on 19 August, host Professor Jude McCulloch reminded the attendees that “counting is not the same as being counted”: keeping track of the women killed in Australia is not just about numbers, we need to count in a way that makes women matter.
ANROWS was present at the roundtable, which was convened as part of the Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant Securing women’s lives: Preventing intimate partner homicide (2017–2020).
Discussions centred on the importance of collecting accurate figures, while ensuring that the data is meaningful and honours the women who have been killed.
Concerns were raised about what happens when we count violence by incident (i.e. a homicide), rather than recognising violence as a process. In relation to this, participants questioned whether a focus on intimate femicide (the killing of a woman by an intimate partner) helps to illuminate underlying experiences and perpetrations of non-physical forms of abuse, or whether a focus on femicide obscures those experiences. Other practical concerns revolved around information sharing, and the impact of intimate femicide on children.
Following the roundtable, ANROWS was also pleased to host James Rowlands from Sussex University, a 2019 Churchill Fellow exploring different approaches to domestic/family violence death reviews internationally. James shared the experiences of death review teams in the UK, and spoke with staff about potential future collaborations.
ANROWS looks forward to further collaborations and research addressing intimate femicide.
National survey of
sexual harassment & assault
Researchers from Western Sydney University, with funding from ANROWS, are conducting a national survey on women’s experiences of sexual harassment and assault.
All Australian women are invited to respond to the survey: those born in Australia or from migrant and refugee backgrounds, and women who identify as trans, LBTIQ+, heterosexual, or straight.
Responses to the survey will be used to inform sexual violence prevention strategies and to develop better information and support for women across diverse backgrounds.
Please respond to the survey here and circulate the link through your networks.
ANROWS conference update:
Evidence in Action
ANROWS is delighted to announce that Professor Nadine Wathen will deliver the keynote lecture at the 3rd national ANROWS research conference on 28-30 April 2020 in Adelaide.
Titled ‘Evidence in Action’, the conference will bring together researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and women with lived experience to ask, “what works?” This will open up opportunities to reflect on what works for whom and in what circumstances, and how we know an initiative has been effective. These reflections will inform conversations about the way in which evidence is applied in policy and practice to reduce violence against women and their children.
Professor Nadine Wathen was recently appointed as Canada Research Chair in Mobilizing Knowledge on Gender-Based Violence at the University of Western Ontario. Drawing on her expertise in evaluation and knowledge translation and exchange, her keynote presentation will form a touchstone for the conference theme, by asking ‘how do we know if it works?’
The conference will be structured around conversational panels, showcasing examples of evidence-driven change in practice. ANROWS will be calling for conference proposals in late September.
New research & resources
Armstead, T.L., Wilkins, N., & Nation, M. (2019). Structural and social determinants of inequities in violence risk: A review of indicators, Journal of Community Psychology.
Brem, M. J., Romero, G., Garner, A. R., Grigorian, H., & Stuart, G. L. (in press). Alcohol problems, jealousy, and cyber dating abuse perpetration among men and women: Towards a conceptual model. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Chan, H.C. & Wong, R.W.Y. (2019). Childhood and adolescent animal cruelty and subsequent interpersonal violence in adulthood: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, (in press).
Dalsklev, M., Cunningham, T., Dempster, M., & Hanna, D. (2019). Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse as a Predictor of Reoffending: A Systematic Review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.
DeKeseredy, W. (2019), Innovative Methods of Gathering Survey Data on Violence Against Women, Deflem, M. and Silva, D. (Ed.) Methods of Criminology and Criminal Justice Research (Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance, Vol. 24), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 69-84.
Doran, F. & Hutchison, M. et al (2019). Australian nursing and midwifery student beliefs and attitudes about domestic violence: A multi-site, cross-sectional study. Nurse Education in Practice, (in press).
Gartland, D., Giallo, R., Woolhouse, H., Mensah, F. & Brown S.J. (2019). Intergenerational Impacts of Family Violence – Mothers and Children in a Large Prospective Pregnancy Cohort Study. EClinical Medicine.
Ghafournia, N. & Easteal, P. (2019). Help-Seeking Experiences of Immigrant Domestic Violence Survivors in Australia: A Snapshot of Muslim Survivors, Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
McCulloch, J., Walklate, S., Maher, J., et al. (2019). Lone Wolf Terrorism Through a Gendered Lens: Men Turning Violent or Violent Men Behaving Violently? Critical Criminology, 1–14.
McGowan, J. & Elliot, K. (2019). Targeted violence perpetrated against women with disability by neighbours and community members. Women’s Studies International Forum, 76.
Murphy, D. & Bartlett, J.D. (2019). Childhood adversity screenings are just one part of an effective policy response to childhood trauma. Child Trends.
Pickover, A. M., Dodson, T. S., Tran, H. N., Lipinski, A. J., & Beck, J. G. (2019). Factor Structure of the Communication Patterns Questionnaire in Violence-Exposed Women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Schut, R.A., Sorenson, S.B. & Gelles, R.J. (2019). Police Response to Violence and Conflict between Parents and their Minor Children. Journal of Family Violence, 1–13.
Short, J. Cram, F., Roguski, M., Smith, R., Koziol-McLain, J. (2019). Thinking differently: Re-framing family violence responsiveness in the mental health and addictions health care context. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.
Simpson Rowe, L., & Jouriles, E. N. (2019). Intimate partner violence and the family. In B. H. Fiese, M. Celano, K. Deater-Deckard, E. N. Jouriles, & M. A. Whisman (Eds.), APA handbooks in psychology series. APA handbook of contemporary family psychology: Applications and broad impact of family psychology (pp. 399-416). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.
Xue, J., Macropol, K., Yanxia, J., Tingshao, Z. Gelles, R. (2019). Harnessing big data for social justice: An exploration of violence against women‐related conversations on Twitter. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 1(10), 269–279.
1800RESPECT: ‘That is Violence’ campaign
Child Family Community Australia: Child-focused approaches when working with parents affected by family and domestic violence (presentation)
Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission: The state of gender equality in Victoria Police in 2018
Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission: Independent Review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour, in Victoria Police: Phase 3 audit and review
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute: Improving housing and service responses to domestic and family violence for Indigenous individuals and families
Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works and Q Shelter: The Deck: A resource hub for the housing and homelessness sector
Grant applications are now open for Community-led Projects to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children on the community Grants Hub website
All Australian women are invited to respond to this national survey on women’s experiences of sexual harassment and assault. Please circulate the link through your networks.
Has anyone ever tried to force you to get pregnant, stay pregnant or get an abortion? Researchers from the University of Melbourne are seeking participants for confidential interviews on reproductive coercion.
In the media
Research in Action (podcast): Dr. Juliet Watson on Researching Gender-based Violence – Oregon State University
If you’ve been sexually assaulted, here’s what doctors and nurses do next – The Conversation
How we are failing victims of family violence – Precedent
Tech for Good: Organisations Tackling Domestic Violence – Social Change Central
Conferences & events
Melbourne, 11 September 2019: Bystander Action to Prevent Violence Against Women (Women’s Health Victoria)
Tamworth, 24–25 September 2019: Centacare Family Services Conference
Sydney, 24–25 September 2019: Health Justice Australia Conference
Perth, 14-16 Oct 2019: Stopping Family Violence conference on Intersectionalities in Domestic Violence
Cape Town, South Africa, 21-25 October 2019: 6th Global Conference on Violence Against Women
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 5–8 November 2019: The 4th World Conference of Women’s Shelters
Hunter Valley, NSW, 19–22 November 2020: Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) Conference: New Horizons: Building the future, Paving the way
Gold Coast, 9-11 Dec 2019: 9th Stop Domestic Violence National Indigenous Conference
Adelaide, 28-30 April 2020: ANROWS 3rd National Research Conference
Siem Reap, Cambodia, 26–29 May 2020: 10th Asia-Pacific conference on reproductive and sexual health and rights
Melbourne, 10-12 June 2020: AIFS 2020 Conference: What is a good life for families? And how do we get there?
Sweden, 30 June – 2 July, 2020: 23rd Conference of the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International
Training & events
Sydney, 10 September 2019: What’s the value of a human rights approach in social policy? The case of gender equality
Melbourne, 11 September 2019: A Global Femicide Index: Who, what and how do we count?
Adelaide, 12 September 2019: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in South Australia Forum
Sydney, 24 September: Australian Academy of the Humanities: Gender-based Violence Roundtable
Melbourne, 24 September: Responding to women from refugee and migrant backgrounds who are experiencing family violence
Melbourne, 30 September–4 October 2019: Realist Research and Evaluation, Five-day intensive Workshop
Melbourne, 30 September 2019: Early Engagement with Men who use Domestic Abuse and Violence: The Better Man online project
Melbourne, 17 October 2019: Family violence awareness for culturally specific or faith-based organisations and communities
Melbourne, 13 November 2019: Storytelling for Change: Prevention of Violence Against Women Communication Masterclass
Sydney, 23 October 2019: IQ2 Debate: Masculinity
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