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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.


Launch of report: Accurately identifying the person most in need of protection

The identification of women victims/survivors as perpetrators of domestic and family violence (DFV) is a significant problem in Australia.

Of the DFV-related deaths in Queensland in 2017, analysis showed that a high proportion of female victims—and nearly all Aboriginal victims—had at least once been previously recorded by police as a perpetrator of DFV.

A forthcoming research report for ANROWS, led by CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow, examines this issue and offers recommendations for how police and courts can better identify and respond to the “person most in need of protection”, an explicit provision in the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012.

The report responds to national concerns that police and courts are using legal sanctions against victims/survivors of DFV who have used violence in response to their abuser.

The report, “Accurately identifying ‘the person most in need of protection’ in domestic and family violence law”, will be published on 25 November.


Join us for a webinar to launch this report: 1–2:30 pm (AEDT) 25 November 2020.

This webinar will present the findings of the report, focusing on:

  • the gap between the intent of the law and its application
  • factors that contribute to women victims/survivors being identified as perpetrators of DFV
  • areas for improvement through procedural guidance and professional development for police and courts.

Dr Nancarrow will unpack the findings and their implications in discussion with His Honour Terry Ryan, State Coroner and Chair of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board; Inspector Ben Martain, Manager of the State Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit, Queensland Police Service; and His Honour Colin Strofield, Magistrate, Brisbane Magistrates Court. The conversation will be facilitated by Sam Mostyn, Chair of the ANROWS Board.


A rise in adolescents using violence in the home

Recent reports from Victoria Police point to an increase in young people’s use of violence toward family members. This echoes evidence that the frequency and severity of domestic and family violence (DFV) has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and amid related restrictions.

The impacts of lockdowns on the use of adolescent violence in the home (AVITH) are likely to reflect what we know about the impacts on DFV more generally: restrictions have exacerbated both the prevalence and severity of violence, as well as intersecting issues (such as mental health and access to education), and reduced the ability of those experiencing violence to seek support.

“The PIPA project: Positive Interventions for Perpetrators of Adolescent violence in the home”, published by ANROWS earlier this year, found that:

  • adolescents using violence are often doing so in a context of intersecting and co-occurring needs and issues, including their own experiences of violence and trauma, and disability
  • families experiencing AVITH have little support from services
  • families are very reluctant to report AVITH, and often have negative experiences when they do.

The authors of the PIPA report, Elena Campbell and her colleagues at the Centre for Innovative Justice and Drummond Street Services, have now produced an issues paper exploring the impacts of COVID-19 on AVITH.

The paper details reported increases in the incidence of risk factors for AVITH—including family violence, suicide risk, parental mental health issues and alcohol use—but also a decrease in services’ involvement with children (reducing the likelihood of identifying environments where the risks are present).

Practitioners have observed a corresponding increase in young people using violence in the home.

The researchers suggest this may be the result of a number of factors, including additional stressors on parents (such as remote learning requirements, tensions over use of technology in the home and struggles to ensure that children follow lockdown requirements); increased presence of abusive parents; and a lack of access to support mechanisms (such as networks of family and friends, schools and other “safe spaces”, and accommodation “circuit-breakers”—such as staying at a friend’s house for respite).

These findings underscore the importance of the PIPA research in the continuing pandemic context, and into the future. To find out more, access the full PIPA research report, read the summary of key findings and future directions, listen to the podcast launching the research or access one of two valuable webinars exploring the provision of AVITH services in Tasmania or Western Australia.

Join us online in March 2021 for the ANROWS National Research Conference to hear a panel of experts discussing AVITH in more detail.



Family violence and self-representation in the Family Court

On Friday 4 December ANROWS will launch a new research report on self-representation in family law proceedings involving allegations about family violence: “‘No straight lines’: Self-represented litigants in family law proceedings involving allegations about family violence”.

This research, led by Dr Jane Wangmann, is grounded in extensive fieldwork, including interviews, court observation and case studies.

The research identified key issues surrounding:

  • challenges faced by self-represented litigants (SRLs) in obtaining ongoing legal advice
  • factors impacting an SRL’s capacity to present their case, including their expectations of the process, their ability to prepare, and trauma caused by experiences of family violence
  • the centrality of paperwork and negotiations in family law processes
  • the impact of ongoing violence in the courtroom and court precinct.

The report will be launched at the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand (LSAANZ) online conference at 12–2 pm on Friday 4 December.

The launch panel will be hosted by Dr Heather Nancarrow and will feature the research team (Dr Jane Wangmann, Associate Professor Tracey Booth and Miranda Kaye from the Faculty of Law at UTS) and Angela Lynch AM (CEO of Women’s Legal Service Queensland). Discussions will include an overview of the key findings of the research.

This report is the latest in a series of ANROWS publications on family law, including research into shared parental responsibility and parental alienation which have both been highlighted by the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System in their recently released interim report. In contrast to concerns that have been raised about false allegations of violence, these studies found that women are pressured into not raising issues of violence to avoid being perceived as an “alienating” parent.


16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

From the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November to International Human Rights Day on 10 December stretch 16 days recognised around the world as a special time to generate, energise and contribute to activism against violence against women.

This year the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence call on us to “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” The United Nations’ campaign concept note explains the importance of the collection and analysis of data and evidence that will improve services and programs.

Evidence is crucial if we are to design effective policy and practice to prevent and respond to violence against women and their children. ANROWS is Australia’s only national research organisation dedicated to producing this kind of evidence.

We guide evidence-production by setting “Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children”: a framework of priority research areas for academics, researchers, governments and funding bodies that coordinates our efforts to prevent and reduce violence against women.


Celebrating our unique role in the production of evidence in Australia, ANROWS will be providing you with 16 days of evidence-based resources to help support your design of effective policy and practice. Follow us on Twitter to hear more and stay in touch.

You can also join us for a webinar on 25 November, the first of the 16 days, to learn about important new research on responding to the “person most in need of protection”, led by Dr Heather Nancarrow.


Gambling harm and intimate partner violence

1:30–2:45 pm (AEDT) Wednesday 9 December 2020

Research published earlier this year by ANROWS shows that while gambling does not directly cause intimate partner violence (IPV), it exacerbates it in serious ways.

Moving beyond the usual associations between problem gambling and physically abusive tactics of IPV, this research, led by Professor Nerilee Hing, examined the connection between gambling and coercive control or economic abuse.

A practice guide, “The dangerous combination of gambling and domestic and family violence against women”, has been developed as part of this ANROWS research project, with the aim of enhancing practice across gambling help, financial counselling and domestic and family violence services.

Join us on 9 December for a webinar launching the practice guide and exploring the findings of the research.




Are you a service manager/designer, practitioner or researcher with expertise in responses to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women?

ANROWS and the University of Melbourne are conducting a survey of experts as part of a project called “Transforming responses to intimate partner and sexual violence: Listening to the voices of victims, perpetrators and services”. The study is led by Dr Dominiek Coates at ANROWS and Professor Kelsey Hegarty at the University of Melbourne. This study 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/survivors, their children and perpetrators. Responses will be strictly confidential and de-identified.

To find out more, access the survey here.

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


Do you have clients experiencing technology-facilitated abuse, or using technology as a tool of abuse?

Associate Professors Asher Flynn of Monash University and Anastasia Powell of RMIT University are exploring technology-facilitated abuse through ANROWS’s Fourth Action Plan program of research. This study will help to inform innovations in preventing and responding to this form of violence.

Technology-facilitated abuse refers to abuse involving mobile and digital technologies, such as online sexual harassment, stalking and image-based abuse.

Workers are invited to complete a 20-minute anonymous online survey. Your contributions will be much appreciated!

Access the survey to participate or find out more.


Women’s Legal Service Queensland is seeking a Principal Solicitor to lead a legal team supporting women experiencing domestic and family violence, and build safer futures for women in Queensland and their children.

This role will suit candidates with a legal or justice leadership and family law background. Find out more or apply here.




ACON: Here and Now: Trans care after a sexual assault

Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet: Sexual health resource hub

AHURI Research Webinar Series

Our Watch: 16 Days of Activism campaign materials: Doing Nothing Does Harm

Books & reports

Our Watch. (2020). Tracking progress in prevention: A national monitoring report on progress towards the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia.

Hegarty K, Gleeson S, Brown S, Humphreys C, Wheeler J, Hooker L, Tarzia L. Early Engagement with families in the health sector to address domestic abuse and family violence: Policy directions. Safer Families Centre. 2020

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2020). The health and welfare of women in Australia’s prisons.

Avery, S. (2020). Something stronger: Truth-telling on hurt and loss, strength and healing, from First Nations people with disability. Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Blaustein, J., Fitz-Gibbon, K., Pino, N. W., & White, R. (Eds.). (2020). The Emerald Handbook of Crime, Justice and Sustainable Development. Emerald.

Carrington, K., Morley, C. Warren, S., Harris, B., Vitis, L., Ball, M., Clarke, J., & Ryan, V. (2020). Impact of COVID on domestic and family violence workforce and clients: Research report. QUT Centre for Justice.

Dam, M. & McCaskill, C. (2020). Animals and people experiencing domestic and family violence: How their safety and wellbeing are interconnected. Domestic Violence NSW.

Fido, D., & Harper, C. A. (Eds.) (2020). Non-consensual image-based sexual offending: Bridging legal and psychological perspectives. Springer International Publishing.

Mooney-Somers, J., Deacon, R. M., Anderst, A., Rybak, R., Akbany, A. F., Philios, L., . . . Parkhill, N. (2020). Women in contact with the Sydney LGBTIQ communities: Report of the SWASH Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Women’s Health Survey 2016, 2018, 2020.

New research articles

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

Cameranesi, M., Ripat, J. D., & Piotrowski, C. C. (2020). “I wouldn’t be here without them”: Resilience in youth exposed to intimate partner violence. Adversity and Resilience Science.

Chong, C. S., Tran, N. L., van Doorn, G., & Howard, M. (2020). Evaluation of the Practice Guide for Intervention (PGI): Relationships between offender needs and PGI use in case planning and supervision practice (Research bulletin no. 44, August 2020).

Cutroni, L., & Anderson, J. (2020). Lady Injustice: The moderating effect of ambivalent sexism in a mock case of intimate partner homicide. Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Harris, B. A. (2020). Visualising violence? Capturing and critiquing body-worn video camera evidence of domestic and family violence. Current Issues in Criminal Justice.

Howard, M., & Lobo, J. (2020). Access to programs and services among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) offenders: The case of EQUIPS (Research brief no. 2).

Howard, M., & Zhang, Y. (2020). The predictive validity of general risk assessment tools for offence-specific recidivism among domestic violence offenders (Research brief no. 3).

Jack, S. M., Munro-Kramer, M. L., Roberts Williams, J., Schminkey, D., Tomlinson, E., Jennings Mayo-Wilson, L., . . . Campbell, J. C. (2020). Recognizing and responding to intimate partner violence using telehealth: Practical guidance for nurses and midwives. Journal of Clinical Nursing.

McKenzie, M., Hegarty, K. L., Palmer, V. J., & Tarzia, L. (2020). “Walking on eggshells:” A qualitative study of how friends of young women experiencing intimate partner violence perceive their role. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

McKimmie, B. M., Masser, B. M., Nitschke, F., Lee, H., & Schuller, R. A. (2020). The impact of schemas on decision-making in cases involving allegations of sexual violence. Current Issues in Criminal Justice.

Meyer, S., Burley, J., & Fitz-Gibbon, K. (2020). Combining group-based interventions for intimate partner violence perpetrators with comorbid substance use: An Australian study of cross-sector practitioner views. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Pastrana, F. A., Moreland, A. D., Milman, E. J., Williams, J. L., delMas, S., & Rheingold, A. A. (2020). Interventions for child and adolescent survivors of intrafamilial homicide: A review of the literature. Death Studies.

Potter, L., Morris, R., Hegarty, K., García-Moreno, C., & Feder, G. (2020). Categories and health impacts of intimate partner violence in the World Health Organization multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. International Journal of Epidemiology.

Conferences & events

20 November 2020: The Invisibility of Children’s Risk and Wellbeing during COVID-19: A call to action—Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

24-25 November 2020: Outcomes Measurement Workshops: Online—Centre for Social Impact UWA

25 November 2020: Webinar: Accurately identifying the person most in need of protection—ANROWS

25 November 2020: Working together to support families where a parent uses alcohol and/or other drugs—Child Family Community Australia

25 November 2020: Domestic and Family Violence Conference: Coming Back Stronger—South West Sydney Domestic Violence Committee

25 November 2020: Justice for women during COVID-19—Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

25–6 November 2020: I Seminar on Evidence-based Public Policies in the Brazilian Criminal Justice System

26 November 2020: What we know and don’t know about stalkerware—UCL STEaPP and Chayn (Recording available with registration)

1 December 2020: The Shadow Pandemic Webinar—The Royal Women’s Hospital

1–2 December 2020: National Homelessness Conference—AHURI and Homelessness Australia

2 December 2020: Bystander Solutions to DFV in our Community—Brisbane Domestic Violence Service

2 December 2020: Long-term effects of domestic and family violence: The good, the bad and the ugly—Chisholm Institute

3 December 2020: Beijing Platform for Action at 25: Progress, retreat and the future of women’s rights—UNSW Australian Human Rights Institute

16 December 2020: Mental health and women—Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

3–5 May 2021: Child Inclusive Practice Forum—Expanding the lens: Child inclusion and vulnerable children

Contribute to Notepad

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