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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.

An end-of-year “Thankyou”

From ANROWS CEO, Dr Heather Nancarrow

As we near the end of another year, and many of our friends and colleagues will soon be taking a well-earned break, I take this opportunity to acknowledge the collective commitment and continuing work towards ending violence against women. In particular I acknowledge the survivors, many of whom work in various paid and voluntary roles within the violence against women sector.

We are all devastated when we learn—on average, once a week—that yet another woman has been killed, allegedly by a male perpetrator. It is easy to become dispirited in the face of backlash, criticism of prevention and response efforts, and the enormous task that remains in front of us. But we continue on, strengthening our resolve and doubling our efforts.

I want to honour the work of policy-makers, practitioners and advocates across the country whose tireless efforts are often unacknowledged. I want to thank you all for the support you have given to the ANROWS team over the year through your feedback, participation in our advisory mechanisms and knowledge transfer activities, and most importantly by applying the evidence emerging from ANROWS in policy and practice.

The coming year will see the conclusion of three programs of research commissioned by ANROWS over the past six years. The delivery of more than 60 research projects under these three programs could not have been achieved without the combined efforts of many across research, policy and practice in partnership with ANROWS.

We have learnt much over this period of establishment and in 2020 ANROWS will strengthen its leadership role and centre our work on research endeavours for high policy impact. We look forward to continuing the collective national effort to end violence against women with you.

I wish you all a safe and joyous festive season and hopes fulfilled in 2020.


Early Bird catches the worm

A limited number of early bird tickets are now available for the ANROWS National Research Conference on Violence against Women and their Children: Evidence in Action.

Don’t wait—early bird prices won’t last!


ANROWS Campaign

16 Days of Activism

Thank you to all who supported the ANROWS campaign throughout the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence—our colourful #OrangetheWorld tweets highlighted areas for action, drawing on ANROWS research findings, and ended on a positive note, celebrating how far we’ve come.

Have a look at our Day 16 post, below.

New report

Community attitudes to VAW and gender equality in NSW

A report is now available on the responses of NSW residents to the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS).

The findings show that views of the NSW community are very similar to those across the nation. Encouragingly, most people in NSW do not condone violence against women and there has been an increase in support for gender equality since the survey was previously conducted in 2013. However, a concerning number of people in NSW believe that gender inequality is no longer a problem.

This report has been produced by ANROWS with funding from the NSW Government.


Leigh Goodmark on decriminalising domestic violence

In a stimulating and controversial conversation with the ABC’s Paul Barclay last Wednesday, Professor Leigh Goodmark, from the University of Maryland, discussed criminal justice responses to domestic violence in the US and Australia, and how we might use evidence-based approaches to do things differently.

Prof Goodmark explored what it could mean to “decriminalise” domestic violence. She explained that this doesn’t mean an overnight change legalising violence: rather, she sees decriminalisation a process of moving away from legal mechanisms, towards a response that includes social, psychological, economic, and community considerations. The conversation touched on what perpetrator accountability looks like, strengthening preventative measures rather than punitive ones, safer and more effective alternatives to incarceration, the value of a “crime” of coercive control, and how we might build tailored, survivor-centred restorative justice processes.

Prof Goodmark’s book, Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A balanced policy approach to intimate partner violence, investigates these ideas in greater detail.

Listen out for the interview on ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas in the new year. Notepad subscribers will also receive a link to the podcast when it is made available.


Videos from our Symposium: How do we engage men who use violence?

Did you miss last month’s Adelaide Symposium on engaging men who use violence?

On 11 November ANROWS hosted a Symposium exploring findings from Engaging men who use violence: Invitational narrative approaches, a recent ANROWS research report.

Following exceptionally high demand for access to the Symposium, and deep engagement from practitioners and researchers on the day, we are now able to make the presentations available online.

These new videos present each of the Symposium’s four sessions:

  • An overview of the findings of the ANROWS research report, Engaging men who use violence: Invitational narrative approaches, with Chief Investigator, Professor Sarah Wendt
  • How invitational narrative ideas are used in practice, with researcher Dr Kate Seymour
  • Implications for policy: panel discussion with SA Government executives Vanessa Swan and Fiona Mort, moderated by Sarah Wendt
  • Implications for practice: panel discussion with social worker Chris Dolman and Elder and community worker Regina Newchurch, moderated by Sarah Wendt

Scroll to the bottom of the Project Page to find the videos.



Unintended consequences of domestic violence law

On Wednesday 11 December ANROWS CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow launched her book, Unintended consequences of domestic violence law: Gendered aspirations and racialised realities. Monash University’s Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre hosted the launch, which involved Heather discussing her work on a panel with Jackie Huggins AM and Shirley Slann.

The book details her research into how women are increasingly becoming ensnared in the criminal justice system through domestic violence laws that were originally designed to protect women from men’s violence. It looks closely at how this problem is considerably amplified for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Heather’s book shows that this issue is due to several intersecting factors:

  • the law’s failure to distinguish between coercive control and fights
  • police and court powers specifically aimed at overcoming patriarchal coercive control
  • formulaic approach by police and courts in applying the law
  • the Australian neo-colonial context and race relations.

The book calls for a paradigm shift in current mainstream responses to intimate partner violence, which has implications for every aspect of the system we have built to stop men’s violence against women. It also highlights the risks associated with making such a profound shift.



Insights: The ANROWS Podcast

Do you prefer catching up on the latest research by listening? Insights: the ANROWS podcast offers episodes with a diverse range of speakers, including practitioners, policy-makers and researchers discussing the implications of the growing ANROWS evidence-base from a broad range of perspectives.

As we’ve established and grown the podcast this year, we’ve uploaded episodes on:

  • intergenerational trauma & family violence in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities
  • engaging men who use violence
  • using data to help us understand domestic homicide
  • the Warawarni-gu Guma Statement (Healing Together)
  • transforming legal understandings of intimate partner violence.

We’re looking forward to adding an array of new discussions to this list in the new year.

All Insights podcast episodes are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Subscribe now to learn more about the key issues and national priorities for responding to violence against women and their children.



Job opportunity: Webinar Project Officer (Evidence to Action)

Are you interested in helping practitioners, policy-makers and researchers connect with and apply ANROWS research?

ANROWS is seeking a Webinar Project Officer (Evidence to Action) to join our Knowledge Translation and Exchange team. This position is a full-time contract, and will involve overseeing the development, organisation, and delivery of a webinar program running from January to June 2020.

Find out more and apply on our website.



Add your service to the 1800RESPECT Service Directory

1800RESPECT is calling for all sexual, domestic and family violence service providers to add their service to a new searchable directory. The directory will form an online database of the services that support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence. It has been designed to help people access appropriate support in a few easy steps. Add your service to the directory here.

eSafety Survey: Technology-facilitated abuse

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner and Griffith University are seeking survey responses from family violence practitioners on children’s experiences with technology-facilitated abuse in the context of domestic and family violence. Information from this survey will be used to inform Australian government policy recommendations for improving adults’ and children’s safety around technology in domestic violence situations.

The survey is open to all family and domestic violence practitioners, including those who have not seen technology-facilitated abuse in the course of their work. Complete the survey here.

AWAVA Survey: Gender-based violence

Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) is seeking the perspectives of people aged over 15 who have been subjected to different forms of gender-based violence. They are seeking information about the services and support that people have accessed or were unable to access. The survey findings will be used to identify gaps in how services provide support for victims/survivors.

The survey takes approximately 17 min to complete.

New resources

Safer Families Toolkit: tools designed to help you identify and respond to those experiencing domestic abuse and family violence

Working with the Stolen Generations: understanding trauma—Providing effective GP services to Stolen Generations survivors

The DRIVE Project

Women’s Aid: Change that Lasts

New research

Books & Reports

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2019). 2018–19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) results. (See reports of physical harm here).

Berry Street (2019). The economic case for early intervention in the child protection and out-of-home care system in Victoria. SVA Consulting.

Blagg, H., & Thanlia, A. (2019). Decolonising Criminology: Imagining Justice in a Postcolonial World. Springer Nature.

Carole Zufferey, C., Buchanan, F., (2019). Intersections of Mothering: Feminist Accounts. Routledge.

Government of Victoria: Expert Advisory Committee on Perpetrator Interventions: Final report

Sawrikar, P. (2019). The development and evaluation of an education program for service providers about culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) client victims/survivors of child sexual abuse: Technical Report 1 (Full Report). Griffith University, Queensland.

Togni, S. (2019). Uti Kulintjaku Watiku Project Evaluation Report. Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council.

Warren, D. & Swami, N. (2019). Teenagers and sex. Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Wormith, J. S., Craig, L. A., Hogue, T. E., (Eds.). (2020). The Wiley Handbook of What Works in Violence Risk Management: Theory, Research, and Practice. Wiley-Blackwell.


Ehret, S. (2019). Making Meaning of Justice Ideals for Intimate Partner Violence: Reflections on Restorative Justice, The British Journal of Criminology , azz077, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azz077

Frye, J.,  Phadke, S., Bleiweis, R., Buchanan, M.J., Corley, D., & Ahmed, O. (2019). Transforming the Culture of Power An Examination of Gender-Based Violence in the United States. Center for American Progress.

Herbell, K., Li, Y., Tina Bloom, T.,  Phyllis Sharps, P.,  Linda F.C. Bullock, L.F.C. (2020). Keeping it together for the kids: New mothers’ descriptions of the impact of intimate partner violence on parenting, Child Abuse & Neglect, 99. (advance online publication)

Lila, M., Martín-Fernández, M., Gracia, E., López-Ossorio, J. J., & González, J. L. (2019). Identifying Key Predictors of Recidivism among Offenders Attending a Batterer Intervention Program: A Survival Analysis. Psychosocial Intervention, 28(3), 157–167. doi:10.5093/pi2019a19

Lippy, C., Jumarali, S.N., Nnawulezi, N.A., Peyton Williams, E. & Burk, C. (2019). The Impact of Mandatory Reporting Laws on Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Intersectionality, Help-Seeking and the Need for Change. Journal of Family Violence. doi:10.1007/s10896-019-00103-w

Molyneaux, R., Gibbs, L. Bryant, R.A., Humphreys, C. Hegarty, K., Kellett, C., Gallagher, H.C., Block, K., Harms, L., Richardson, J.F.,  Alkemade, N., & Forbes, D. (2020) Interpersonal violence and mental health outcomes following disaster. BJPsych Open 6, e1, 1–7. doi: 10.1192/bjo.2019.82

Noble-Carr, D., Moore, T., & McArthur, M. (2019). The Nature and Extent of Qualitative Research Conducted With Children About Their Experiences of Domestic Violence: Findings From a Meta-Synthesis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838019888885

Roff, E. (2019). Family violence  and the workplace:  Recent developments  in Australian law. Alternative Law Journal. https://doi.org/10.1177/1037969X19887558

Roy, V., Brodeur, N., Labarre, M., Bousquet, M. & Sanhueza, T. (2019). How Do Practitioners and Program Managers Working with Male Perpetrators View IPV? A Quebec Study. Journal of Family Violence doi:10.1007/s10896-019-00104-9

Sawrikar, P. (2019). Child protection, domestic violence, and ethnic minorities: Narrative results from a mixed methods study in Australia. PLoS ONE 14(12): e0226031. https://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pone.0226031

Stonard, K. E. (2020).Technology was designed for this: Adolescents’ perceptions of the role and impact of the use of technology in cyber dating violence. Computers in Human Behaviour. 105 (advance online publication)

​In the media


‘I just assume that every industry is like this. That everyone is getting sexually harassed and abused.’ – The Feed, SBS.

Chilean anti-rape anthem becomes international feminist phenomenon – The Guardian


Morrison Government defunds Indigenous domestic violence body – ABC Radio Adelaide


Senate should investigate ‘missing, murdered, maimed’ Indigenous women, Linda Burney says – ABC

Free phones can be crucial to escaping family violence but a key service is facing a funding cut – ABC

New Family Safety Victoria Chief Executive – National Tribune

New Zealand’s first pornography report finds ‘problematic’ amount of coercion – The Guardian

Evangelical churches believe men should control women. It can lead to domestic violence – ABC

Queensland police will have to compensate domestic violence victim as appeal denied – The Guardian

I was sentenced to 12 years in prison for trying to kill my wife. I’m glad I pleaded ‘not guilty’ – ABC

‘I refuse to live my life as a victim of you’: Woman shares powerful impact statement – ABC

Queensland tribunal’s treatment of domestic violence victim a ‘disgrace’ – The Guardian

The children left behind by domestic homicide – Pursuit (University of Melbourne)

Asian sex workers in Sydney brothels hide their job from friends and family, survey finds – ABC

Compulsory training for SA public servants to reduce violence against women –The Mandarin

16 Days, 16 Stories – ACON

Thousands at risk of domestic violence waiting for public housing in Queensland – ABC

‘Was Mum raped?’ A daughter’s plea for answers from an aged care home – SBS

ACT government reinstates domestic violence legal service funding – The Canberra Times

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