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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.


Investing in women’s safety

ANROWS welcomes and supports the Australian Government’s commitment to funding ANROWS beyond the end of the current National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, announced as part of the 2021–22 Federal Budget.

The commitment includes ongoing funding for ANROWS’s core research program, as well as funding for the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS). Additionally, funds have been committed to research pertaining specifically to sexual harassment, in response to Recommendation 4 of the Respect@Work report.

The NCAS is a vital tool for capturing the ways in which Australians understand violence against women, what influences these attitudes and how they have changed over time. Responses to ANROWS’s 2020 Stakeholder Survey demonstrated the myriad ways ANROWS stakeholders have drawn on NCAS data to inform their work – including in the areas of policy formation, legal advice and law reform, advocacy, responses to specific needs of clients (including relevant community and cultural concerns), and development and provision of training and educational materials – and more generally to address harmful attitudes and myths about violence against women.

Beyond its ongoing commitment to ANROWS, the Australian Government is providing, through the Federal Budget, funding for the Australian Bureau of Statistics to conduct the Personal Safety Survey, and establish the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Personal Safety Survey. This is needed to measure progress against the Closing the Gap family safety target and will inform ANROWS’s work on translating evidence for policy and practice design.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) will deliver an enhanced “state of play” report that compiles and synthesises all available family, domestic and sexual violence data, with an online presence and interactive data. The AIHW will also develop a prototype national data set to bring together fragmented data from states and territories, which will further assist ANROWS’s research endeavours.

More broadly, we would like to acknowledge the increase in funding for frontline services, including investment under a new National Partnership Agreement with state and territory governments, and a commitment to targeted programs such as Safe Places projects for emergency accommodation for women and children experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence.

Additional new initiatives outlined in the Women’s Budget Statement include providing financial assistance and support to women experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence; leading prevention efforts, including new programs to better inform young Australians about respectful relationships and consent; providing targeted services for women from diverse backgrounds (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, migrant and refugee women, and women with disability); and building on existing supports in the family law system.

ANROWS celebrates the ongoing opportunity to work with the Australian Government to end violence against women and their children through continuing to build the evidence base for policy and practice. To learn more about the Australian Government’s investment in women’s safety and domestic violence support, visit the Department of Social Services.


Detecting, preventing and responding to image-based abuse

Understanding victimisation and perpetration and their impacts forms one of the priority areas under Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANRA) 2020–2022, including, specifically, understanding victimisation and perpetration of all forms of technology-facilitated abuse (TFA).

One of many subtypes of TFA, image-based abuse (IBA) – the non-consensual creation or distribution of intimate images – is the focus of the project “Detecting, preventing and responding to image-based abuse”, led by Associate Professor Nicola Henry of RMIT University. The project aims to investigate patterns and methods of IBA perpetration on online platforms; examine tools, policies and practices of online platforms and services designed to prevent, detect and respond to IBA; and develop theory on IBA perpetration and victimisation as well as Internet governance.

Using mixed methods such as a digital ethnography, interviews, an online survey and an AI chatbot, this research will inform policies and practices for responding to IBA and other forms of online violence, abuse and harassment; contribute to criminal justice policy and legislative reform; provide recommendations for digital platforms and services in their responses to IBA; and critically engage in debates about the future of artificial intelligence, the limits of sovereign laws and the unprecedented power of technology companies.

This project can be found on ANROWS’s Register of Active Research (RAR), a publicly available database of current violence against women research. The RAR enables ANROWS, its stakeholders and other research funders to monitor progress on addressing the priorities set out in ANRA 2020–2022.

The utility of the RAR increases with every project submitted. If you have research underway relating to violence against women and their children, with an Australian target population and a robust, rigorous and ethical research design, please submit details for its inclusion on the RAR.


Safety in the Family Court

One of the major concerns that has arisen through the many new changes and initiatives taking place in the Family Court over the last year is how to keep women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence safe when they engage with the Court.

On Monday 24 May, an expert panel will draw on their diverse experiences to offer insights into improving safety for women and children in the Family Court. Topics under discussion will include the following:

  • What can we learn from what is working?
  • What can we learn from what isn’t working?
  • Where are the opportunities to build change?

There will also be a live Q&A. The webinar is open to anyone and free to attend, and a recording will be made available on the ANROWS website following the event.





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).



Victoria’s Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector (CGEPS) recently announced its Inaugural Research Grants Round 2021 and is inviting applications for research projects that will contribute to the evidence base underpinning the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic).

The Act and the CGEPS are intended to generate significant improvements in organisational gender equality in Victoria by requiring organisations to take positive gender equality actions in their workplaces, as well as to publish data showing their progress in this area.

Applications are invited for research projects that will take place before 31 January 2022, with grants of up to $100,000 available. Applications close at midday on Monday 24 May. For more information and to apply, please visit the CGEPS website.

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

Henry, N., McGlynn, C., Powell, A., Scott, A. J., Johnson, K., & Flynn, A. (2020). Image-based sexual abuse: A study on the causes and consequences of non-consensual nude or sexual imagery. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351135153

Phillips, B., & McGuinness, C. (2020). Child witnesses of family violence: An examination of Victoria police family violence data. https://www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au/research-and-evaluation/publications/child-witnesses-of-family-violence



Boxall, H., & Lawler, S. (2021). How does domestic violence escalate over time? Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice (no. 626). https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi626

Dayan, H. (2021). Crime diversity: Sociocultural aspects of femicide in Hong Kong. Journal of Interpersonal Violencehttps://doi.org/10.1177/08862605211010494

Fitz-Gibbon, K., & Pfitzner, N. (2021). Ensuring access to justice for women experiencing family violence beyond the pandemic. Alternative Law Journal, 46(1), 3–4. https://doi.org/10.1177/1037969X211007651

Henaghan, M., Short, J., & Gulliver, P. (2021). Family violence experts in the criminal court: The need to fill the void. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/13218719.2021.1894262  

Hooker, L., & Taft, A. (2021). Who is being screened for intimate partner violence in primary care settings? Secondary data analysis of a cluster randomised trial. Maternal and Child Health Journalhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-021-03136-0

McEwen, C., Pullen, A., & Rhodes, C. (2021). Sexual harassment at work: A leadership problem. Revista de Administração de Empresas, 61(2). https://doi.org/10.1590/s0034-759020210207 

Wellington, M., Hegarty, K., & Tarzia, L. (2021). Barriers to responding to reproductive coercion and abuse among women presenting to Australian primary care. BMC Health Services Research, 21(1), 424. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06420-5 

In the media


Transphobia and the domestic and family violence field—Archer Magazine

How much can the budget’s $1.1 billion for women’s safety really achieve? Two experts give their verdict—The Conversation

Primary prevention programs for domestic violence in the regions “crucial” in keeping women safe—ABC Riverland

Queensland police misidentified women murdered by husbands as perpetrators of domestic violence—The Guardian

“Still a way to go” on consent and power content in new Australian curriculum—SMH https://www.smh.com.au/education/still-a-way-to-go-on-consent-and-power-content-in-new-australian-curriculum-20210429-p57nfs.html 

What a friend experiencing abuse needs most is an ally—Melbourne University Pursuit https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/what-a-friend-experiencing-abuse-needs-most-is-an-ally

Contribute to Notepad

If you have publications, resources, opportunities or events to promote, please forward them to enquiries@anrows.org.au.

Preferred format is a very brief outline (maximum 4 lines) and a link to further information.



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