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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.

Message from the CEO,
Dr Heather Nancarrow

Internationally and within Australia, we are just beginning to understand the full extent of COVID-19’s impacts on domestic, family and sexual violence—and the work we must do to respond to and prevent it.

This is a difficult time for most of us, in different aspects of our lives and work. I want to thank you all for the many ways you continue to rise to this challenge, making a positive difference to the safety of women and children around the country.

Over decades, our extended community of survivor-advocates, practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers have overcome huge obstacles—but this pandemic brings with it unprecedented challenges, including increased risk of harm to women.

In the midst of uncertainty and rapid change, people I’ve been speaking to are finding ways to adapt, using new tools, interpreting new evidence, and translating what we are learning into action that makes a difference.

We can do this work well because we are also finding ways to connect, sharing resources and ideas, offering support and caring for each other, ensuring that our work is effective, safe and sustainable.

It is an honour to be part of this community of people who are dedicated to improving the safety of women and their children every day, across our country and beyond. Here at ANROWS we will continue to support you by providing the evidence-based resources that you need to do your important work.

Finally, I want to say how proud I am of the ANROWS team’s seamless adaptation to work in the world of COVID-19, as well as their skills and their ongoing commitment to achieving our shared goals. I look forward to the time when we can all be together again.

With best wishes to you all for good health and safety,


ANROWS launching weekly COVID-19 update

During this time of change and uncertainty, research evidence is critical for informing and adapting policy and practice responses.

From next week, ANROWS will provide a weekly update on Women’s Safety and COVID-19. This email alert will go to all our Notepad subscribers, and will focus on resources to assist policy and practice responses to the impacts of coronavirus.


Upcoming research publications

April will see three new ANROWS research reports published. Over the next few weeks, expect to see the following in your inbox:

Prioritising women’s safety in Australian perpetrator interventions: The purpose and practices of partner contact—Led by Professor Donna Chung at Curtin University, this project provides a deeper understanding of how men’s behaviour change programs support women and children through partner contact.

Best practice principles for interventions with domestic and family violence perpetrators from refugee backgrounds—Led by Professor Colleen Fisher at the University of Western Australia, this project identifies principles for culturally appropriate, trauma-informed and effective interventions with perpetrators from refugee communities.

Developing LGBTQ programs for perpetrators and victims/survivors of domestic and family violence—Led by Brandon Bear, this collaborative research project between ACON and Relationships Australia New South Wales was designed as a pilot study to tailor and deliver existing perpetrator and victim/survivor group programs to LGBTQ people who use, or are affected by the use of, violence within their intimate relationships.

Supporting survivors of sexual abuse

This week ANROWS recognises the strength and courage of survivors of sexual abuse, who may be experiencing complex and difficult emotions in light of the recent decision made by the High Court of Australia in the Pell case.

Cardinal Pell’s accuser Witness J has said he respects the court’s decision and accepts the outcome. His gracious statement deserves to be read in full.

Dr Cathy Kezelman, President of Blue Knot Foundation – the National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, offers this advice for survivors who may be struggling with the news.

The 2016 Personal Safety Survey data shows this cohort is likely to include women experiencing intimate partner violence, because women who experienced childhood abuse were nearly three times more likely to experience partner violence than those who had not been abused as children (ABS, 2017).

The damaging legacy of child sexual abuse is deep and extensive. Evidence has shown that those who suffer sexual violence in childhood are at elevated risk of future experiences of violence, both as victims and as perpetrators.

Upcoming ANROWS research led by Dr Michael Salter highlights improvements that could be made across our service system to support women with experiences of complex trauma, including those stemming from child sexual abuse.


Announcing first Practice Studio hosts

ANROWS is delighted to announce that Cairns Sexual Assault Service and Women’s Health Queensland are the first services to begin hosting Practice Studios as part of the WorkUP Queensland project.

WorkUP Queensland is a five-year joint initiative of ANROWS and The Healing Foundation. The project is working to support and build a strong and skilled sexual violence, women’s health and domestic and family violence workforce in Queensland.

WorkUP’s Practice Studios bring current evidence, research and knowledge to life through implementation in real-world settings. Each practice studio will take one example of new research evidence and try to implement it in their setting and, in doing so, learn what it takes to bridge the research to practice gap.

Lessons learned and resources developed will be shared across the sector, so that we can all learn together and the benefits will be amplified.

Cairns Sexual Assault Service will be testing the implementation of evidence from ANROWS research into Women’s Input into a Trauma-informed systems model of care in Health settings (known as the WITH Study). Their Practice Studio will use the Trauma and Violence Informed Framework, which was developed through this ANROWS-funded research project, and embed the model in their service and other local services.

Women’s Health Queensland’s innovative plan will explore the ‘partnering with women’ element of the Invisible Practices adaption of the Safe and Together framework, applying it as a model for engagement and interaction. Working with women in local communities on a range of health and wellbeing interventions, they will embed support for women across the state.

The WorkUP Reference Group has also begun consultations to determine topics for a second round of practice studios.

Those working in the sexual assault, domestic and family violence or women’s health and wellbeing sector in Queensland can stay connected to WorkUP via the project’s Facebook page, or subscribe to the newsletter through the WorkUP Queensland website.


Action research with migrant & refugee services

Are you a policy-maker or practitioner working with migrant and refugee communities to respond to domestic and family violence?

Join us at 1pm on Thursday 23 April for a webinar on Prevention of violence against women and safer pathways to services for migrant and refugee communities.

The panel of practitioners from Victoria, NSW and Queensland will explore new evidence from action research projects run by culturally and linguistically diverse services around Australia.

The conversation will cover:

  • strengths-based community engagement
  • migrant and refugee men as allies in prevention
  • capacity-building and cultural safety.

Panellists will discuss findings from projects run by Relationships Australia South Australia, Save the Children Western Australia, Ballarat Community Health, the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, Western Sydney Local Health District and South’s Community Hub Inc.

Attend this webinar to earn 1 continuing professional development (CPD) point from the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).


Webinar: Navigating a fragmented system

What a turnout! Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for the webinar titled Sadie’s story: Helping women affected by domestic and family violence navigate a fragmented system. More than 1,960 people from over 900 organisations joined us for this live discussion, co-hosted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

The panel included Dr Rae Kaspiew, who discussed her ANROWS research investigating the impacts of domestic and family violence on parenting and parent-child relationships, as well as Sadie’s Story, a case study developed from the research.

Rae was joined by Emma Rogers (Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women) and Jackie Wruck (Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships) from Queensland, who participated in the PATRICIA and Invisible Practices research projects, both of which were led by Professor Cathy Humphreys. They discussed collaborative practice and the practical implications of the research.

The webinar was recorded and will be available on our website soon.


Webinar: Safe for Women? Preventing gender-based violence in mental health inpatient units

Our recent webinar exploring women’s safety in mental health inpatient units was recorded and is now available on demand.

The panel discussed recent ANROWS research which found that women staying in mental health inpatient units experience gender-based violence in many forms perpetrated by other patients, intimate partners and ex-partners, and staff. The physical environment and some treatment processes can also contribute to women feeling unsafe during their inpatient stays.

Drawing on findings from the research project, the panel discussed women’s experiences of gender-based violence in inpatient mental health units, how current practices are not keeping women safe, and the changes that can be made to improve mental health inpatient services.


Disability Support Toolkit

The 1800RESPECT Disability Support Toolkit is designed for frontline workers supporting people with disability who have been impacted by sexual assault and domestic violence.

It contains Easy English booklets and videos for people with disability, their carers, disability workers, medical practitioners and social workers.

Better Man Project

No to Violence and the University of Melbourne have launched BETTER MAN, a new evidence-based website about healthy intimate relationships for men.

BETTER MAN is an innovative digital intervention designed to strengthen healthy relationships, enhance communication skills, and promote positive values with men who choose to use violence in their intimate relationships.


Survey: DFV in lesbian relationships

Are you a domestic violence expert? Researchers at QUT are seeking your perceptions of coercive control in lesbian relationships. Complete the survey here.

New Books & Reports

Ashford, C., & Maine, A. (Eds.). (2020). Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Donnelly, S. (2020). Design guide for refuge accommodation for women and children: UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion.

Hamel, J., Russell, B., & Wagers, S. (Eds.). (2020). Partner Abuse: New Directions in Research, Intervention, and Policy. New York, United States: Springer Publishing.

Haneef, C., & Kalyanpur, A. (2020). Global Rapid Gender Analysis for COVID-19.

Jaffe, P., Scott, K., & Straatman, A.-L. (Eds.). (2020). Preventing Domestic Homicides: Lessons learned from tragedies. Massachusetts: Academic Press.

McKay, T., Comfort, M., Landwehr, J., Kennedy, E., & Williams, O. (2020). Partner Violence Help-Seeking in Couples Affected by Incarceration: Overcoming Barriers (Policy Brief, April 2020).

Peterman, A., Potts, A., O’Donnell, M., Thompson, K., Shah, N., Oertelt-Prigione, S., & van Gelder, N. (2020). Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children (CGD Working Paper 528). Washington: Center for Global Development.

Petrangelo, M., Heath, J., Westmarland, N., & Bellini, R. (2020). Utilization of Videoconference Software for Men’s BIPs: Summary of Experience and Research to date and COVID-19 Considerations (Webinar presentation slides).

Potts, D. L. (2020). Professing to Power. In L. A. Gray-Rosendale (Ed.), Me Too, Feminist Theory, and Surviving Sexual Violence in the Academy.

Sanders, R. (2020). ESSS Outline: Adolescent to parent violence and abuse.

U. N. Women. (2020). COVID-19 and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.

New research articles

Akan, Y., & Kıran, B. (2020). A Qualitative Study on the Investigation of Violence and Men who Inflict Violence from the Perspective of Men. Turkish Psychological Counseling and Guidance Journal, 10(56).

Crowe, J., & Lee, B. (2020). The Mistake of Fact Excuse in Queensland Rape Law: Some Problems and Proposals for Reform. University of Queensland Law Journal, 39(1). Retrieved from

Katirai, N. (2020). Retraumatized in court. Arizona Law Review, 62(1).

Mayer, A. G. K. (2017). Intervening with Couples Experiencing Domestic Violence: Development of a Systemic Framework. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 38(2), 244-255.

Noble-Carr, D., Moore, T., & McArthur, M. (2020). Children’s experiences and needs in relation to domestic and family violence: Findings from a meta-synthesis. Child & Family Social Work, 25(1), 182-191.

Rowlands, I. J., Holder, C., Forder, P. M., Hegarty, K., Dobson, A. J., & Loxton, D. (2020). Consistency and Inconsistency of Young Women’s Reporting of Intimate Partner Violence in a Population-Based Study. Violence Against Women, (Advance online publication).

Stansfield, R., Mowen, T. J., Napolitano, L., & Boman, J. H. (2020). Examining Change in Family Conflict and Family Violence After Release From Prison. Criminal Justice and Behavior, Advance online publication.

In the media


The impacts of COVID-19 on women’s shelters and legal services: Angela Lynch and Annabelle Daniel speaking with ABC’s Fran Kelly (Listen from 1:39:30)


Domestic Violence, Isolation and Covid-19

Family violence increasing during Covid-19 lockdown

$1.1 billion Medicare, mental health, domestic violence package on its way in response to coronavirus crisis

$32.5 million to immediately bolster frontline services

Additional $34.3m in NSW for housing responses to COVID-19 impacts on DFV

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