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Our research

Violence against women and 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.

Blue banner with the text 'Register of active research. Register your Australian violence against women research'

Register your research with ANROWS and support Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2020–2022

ANROWS invites you to contribute to building a comprehensive landscape of research currently in progress in Australia relating to violence against women and their children, and to respond to the research priorities outlined in Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2020–2022.

The Register of Active Research (RAR), a centralised register of current research in priority areas, is a vital resource for policymakers wishing to stay up-to-date with upcoming research; researchers who are considering projects, seeking research funds and looking to collaborate across jurisdictions and disciplines; and for research funders assessing grant applications.

The RAR complements Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, released in October 2020 with the aim of encouraging the production of evidence needed for national policy and practice design in preventing and responding to violence against women. The agenda has identified evidence gaps in the research landscape in five priority areas – children and young people, understanding the intersecting drivers of violence against women, sexual violence and harassment, what works to prevent violence against women, and what works in responding to violence against women – and the RAR serves to guide investment in research in these areas. It also fosters partnerships, prevents duplication, focuses on current research, and has a user-friendly search tool and an easy export option.

If you have relevant research underway, please submit details for inclusion on the RAR. To be included, research must be related to violence against women and their children; have an Australian target population; and employ a robust, rigorous and ethical research design.

The utility of the RAR is boosted with each relevant project registered, and we invite you to register your project details as soon as is practicable.


New projects announced

On Monday 8 February, ANROWS announced its 2020–2022 Core Grant Research Program, funded by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, and supporting Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2020–2022.

The program comprises eight projects that collectively address each of the research gaps identified in national agenda, with a focus on producing evidence to support policy and practice design responding to the needs of children and young people – in particular, those within marginalised populations.

In this issue and over the next three issues of Notepad, we will be giving you a preview of what to expect from the program.

The first of the eight projects, “Service system responses and culturally designed practice frameworks to address the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children exposed to domestic and family violence” , is led by Garth Morgan and Candice Butler of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP).

The research will explore the experiences and service needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people exposed to DFV attending Family Wellbeing Services (FWS), and use an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural lens to determine effective service responses to the needs of these individuals.

The second of the eight projects, led by Professor Sally Robinson of Flinders University, will address the evidence gap in terms of the national prevalence of children and young people with disability experiencing DFV, as well as their service needs, priorities and access.

Entitled “Connecting the dots: Understanding the DFV experiences of children and young people with disability within and across sectors” , it will map intersections unique to children and young people with disability experiencing DFV and determine steps to bring service processes into better alignment with their priorities.


Join ANROWS and Phoenix Australia for a session on vicarious trauma

To meet the needs of policymakers and researchers working in the area of domestic, family and sexual violence, Phoenix Australia, in partnership with ANROWS, is presenting a session on managing vicarious trauma for individuals and organisations.

On Monday 22 February the session, “Managing the impact of working in the area of domestic, family and sexual violence: Meeting the needs of researchers and policymakers”, will equip participants with an understanding of vicarious trauma and burnout, and knowledge of factors that contribute to personal and organisational resilience. It will help participants explore practical strategies aimed at preventing vicarious trauma and managing the day-to-day impact of engaging with survivors of family violence and their stories, or being exposed to other traumatic content.

The session is being held in advance of the ANROWS National Research Conference so that conference participants can learn, ahead of time, perspectives and practices that they can bring to their conference experience and use in their daily work. Registration for the session is open to all who have registered to attend the ANROWS Conference. Don’t miss out: registration for the conference is still open.

ANROWS Conference solutions session: Engaging men in prevention

The ANROWS conference will conclude with a series of solutions sessions. The sessions have been developed with key partners in the violence against women sector and focus on emerging challenges in the field.

At one of these sessions, “Unpacking masculinities and engaging men in primary prevention”, led by Our Watch, attendees will have the opportunity to engage with experts in the primary prevention field to discuss key challenges in unpacking masculinities and engaging men. This session will explore potential ways to respond to challenges such as:

  • mobilising this work at institutional, policy and structural levels (beyond working with individuals)
  • crafting effective framing and messaging – that is, how to engage men in ways that are strength-based and gender transformative
  • addressing male privilege and entitlement
  • maintaining accountability to women
  • managing backlash and resistance.

Attendees will hear from a range of panellists working with diverse communities across different settings, and will be invited to add their own challenges – and successes – to the discussion. They will leave the session equipped with examples, tips and suggestions for rising to the difficult tasks and conversations arising in this complex area of work.

Registrations for the ANROWS National Research Conference are still open, and we’d love to see you there.


Defining and responding to coercive control

ANROWS has published a new policy brief to assist policymakers developing legal or policy and practice frameworks to prevent or respond to coercive control in relation to domestic and family violence. The paper offers recommendations aligned to three key considerations: the need for a consistent definition of coercive control and its relationship to the definition of DFV in policy and legislative settings, Australia-wide; the importance of building the evidence base on the effectiveness of criminalisation and other responses to coercive control; and the need to reform the culture of response to DFV in and around the legal system, and in other settings.



Violence against women and mental health

“Policymakers really need to ask the question: how can policy support systems, organisations and individuals to do their best in recognising and responding appropriately to family violence, in this case, to women who experienced family violence and experienced mental health issues?”

Dr Sabin Fernbacher, independent consultant

If you missed Monday’s webinar, “Violence against women and mental health”, you can now access the recording on our website.

Our expert panel explored how mental health services can enhance responses to domestic and family violence through a collaborative approach, and how policy can address the intersection of violence against women and mental health.

Interested in more information about health systems? At the ANROWS National Research Conference this issue will be unpacked further in an interactive session, entitled “Can we transform health systems to address domestic abuse and family violence?” More information about the conference can be found on the event website.


Two new practice studios announced!

WorkUP Queensland is excited to have recently announced two new practice studios – small projects designed to increase knowledge of what it takes to implement evidence in practice. DVConnect and Children by Choice will explore different ways of implementing the findings from the ANROWS project “Multicultural and settlement services supporting women experiencing violence (the MuSeS project)”.

DVConnect will work with multicultural and settlement services in Queensland to find more, and better, ways to respond to culturally and linguistically diverse people, and will support these services to enhance their capacity to respond to people who are experiencing violence.

Children by Choice, too, will work in collaboration with multicultural and settlement services and will build on the work it has done developing reproductive coercive control resources to ensure community needs are met.

To learn more about practice studios and how your organisation can get involved, visit WorkUP Queensland.

New research and resources

You can access the resources in this list and all the other articles in Notepad in the ANROWS Library.

Books and reports

Anderson, H. (2021). “It’s good to know each other, to be Kungas”: An evaluation report for the Kunga Stopping Violence Program. Griffith University. https://apo.org.au/node/310643?mc_cid=be98c3f471&mc_eid=54ac23e190

Douglas, H. (2021). Women, intimate partner violence, and the law. Oxford University Press. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/women-intimate-partner-violence-and-the-law-9780190071783?cc=us&lang=en&

Laing, L. (2021). “A different way of doing it”: Providing domestic violence services during COVID. DV West. https://www.dvwest.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/DV-West-Report-Digital.pdf

Rugkhla, P., & Dixson, T. (2021). Criminalisation of coercive control: Issues paper. AWAVA. https://awava.org.au/2021/01/28/research-and-reports/criminalisation-of-coercive-control-issues-paper

New research articles

You can access the resources in this list and all the other articles in Notepad in the ANROWS Library.

Barlow, C., & Walklate, S. (2021). Gender, risk assessment and coercive control: Contradictions in terms? British Journal of Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azaa104

Boxall, H., & Sabol, B. (2021). Adolescent family violence: Findings from a group-based analysis. Journal of Family Violence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-021-00247-8

Buttell, F., Cannon, C. E. B., Rose, K., & Ferreira, R. J. (2021). COVID-19 and intimate partner violence: Prevalence of resilience and perceived stress during a pandemic. Traumatology. https://doi.org/10.1037/trm0000296

Cripps, K. (2021). Media constructions of Indigenous women in sexual assault cases: Reflections from Australia and Canada. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/10345329.2020.1867039

Marsden, S., Humphreys, C., & Hegarty, K. (2021). Why does he do it? What explanations resonate during counseling for women in understanding their partner’s abuse? Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260521989850

Meyer, S., & Reeves, E. (2021). Policies, procedures and risk aversity: Police decision-making in domestic violence matters in an Australian jurisdiction. Policing and Society, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2020.1869234

Patafio, B., Miller, P., Walker, A., Coomber, K., Curtis, A., Karantzas, G., Mayshak, R., Taylor, N., & Hyder, S. (2021). Coercive controlling behaviours and reporting physical intimate partner violence in Australian women: An exploration. Violence Against Women. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801220985932

Walklate, S., & Fitz-Gibbon, K. (2020). Why criminalise coercive control? The complicity of the criminal law in punishing women through furthering the power of the state. International Journal for Crime and Justice and Social Democracy. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.1829

Wang, P. (2020). Struggle with multiple pandemics: Women, the elderly and Asian ethnic minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, 17(1–2). https://doi.org/10.5130/pjmis.v17i1-2.7400



The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has been commissioned by ANROWS to undertake research into the compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders. The research will involve multiple studies, including a survey of legal and non-legal professionals working in the family law system.

You are invited to take part in this survey if you are a legal professional (including judicial officers, barristers and solicitors) or non-legal professional (including family dispute resolution practitioners, family violence sector professionals, and professionals working in post-separation support services, such as parenting order programs).


ANROWS and the University of Melbourne are conducting surveys of victims and survivors and people who use intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women as part of a project called “Transforming responses to intimate partner and sexual violence: Listening to the voices of victims, perpetrators and services” (the “Voices” study).

To help gather this important data, the research team are asking for your help in distributing the surveys. You can access information about the Voices survey for victims and survivors (women) here and about the survey for people (men, women and gender diverse) who use intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women here. Please feel free to share these survey links widely via newsletters, Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

The Voices study is led by Associate Professor Dominiek Coates at ANROWS and Professor Kelsey Hegarty at the University of Melbourne. It is part of a program of research led by ANROWS and funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.

This study will develop recommendations for service and system improvements to better respond to victims and survivors, their children and perpetrators.

This project has received ethics approval from the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee.


Applications are now open for the Investing in Queensland Women grant program, administered by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Grants of up to $15,000 (excl. GST) are available to community groups and organisations in Queensland’s urban, rural and remote communities, to be used for the development and delivery of initiatives aligning with the Queensland Government’s strategic priorities for women.

For more information, and to apply, visit the Department of Justice and Attorney-General’s website. Applications for the first round close at 5 pm on Friday, 5 March.

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