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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.

ANRA 2020–2022

Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children

Following an extensive research and consultation process, ANROWS has released Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANRA) 2020–2022 and announced its priorities from within ANRA for the 2020–2022 ANROWS Core Grant Research Program.

ANRA provides a framework for, and guidance on, priority areas of research and research topics for academics, researchers, research funding bodies and governments across Australia. Its aim is to encourage the production of evidence needed for national policy and practice design in preventing and responding to violence against women (VAW), regardless of the source of funding for the research.

ANRA 2020–2022 identifies five priority areas for research:

  • Children and young people
  • Understanding the intersecting drivers of violence against women
  • Sexual violence and harassment
  • What works to prevent violence against women
  • What works in responding to violence against women.

ANRA will be updated biennially to reflect progress on implementing the agenda and emergent policy priorities. Research underway (where known) is listed under relevant research areas in an appendix to ANRA 2020-2022.



2020–2022 ANROWS Core Grant Research Program

ANROWS has prioritised research on the impacts on and needs of children and young people exposed to domestic and family violence (DFV), with a focus on marginalised populations, for its 2020–2022 Core Grant Research Program.

We are now calling for grant applications from Australian-based research organisations, with a closing date of 9 November 2020. Applications will be peer assessed and successful applicants will commence research under the program in early 2021.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the ANROWS grants are available to help you with the application process.


Complementing ANRA 2020–2022 is the ANROWS Register of Active Research (RAR).

The RAR is an important database for researchers considering research projects and for research funders considering grant applications relevant to ANRA 2020–2022.

If you have relevant research underway, or research that has been recently completed but not yet published, please submit details for inclusion on the RAR.


Mental health and violence against women

Studies show that violence against women may be associated with mental health consequences for women that often persist long after the violence has stopped.

In recognition of National Mental Health Month, which raises awareness throughout October, we have compiled a list of recent ANROWS research reports and summaries that identify the complex relationship between domestic, family and sexual violence, and mental health difficulties.

The research synthesis Violence against women and mental health examines the way that mental health intersects with aspects of the experience of violence, including trauma, complex trauma, disability, coercive control, access to justice and parenting.

A preventable burden: Measuring and addressing the prevalence and health impacts of intimate partner violence in Australian women summaries evidence that partner violence is a major contributor to the burden of disease (the impact of illness, disability and premature death) among women in Australia.

“A deep wound under my heart”: Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence explores Australian policy and service responses for victims/survivors of gender-based violence who have experiences of complex trauma.

Preventing gender-based violence in mental health inpatient units documents the violence experienced by women in inpatient treatment, including how restraint and seclusion practices can be experienced as gender-based violence, and identifies the need for trauma-informed care and the institutional prevention of gender-based violence.

Kungas’ trauma experiences and effects on behaviour in Central Australia explores the connection between trauma and incarceration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Women’s Input into a Trauma-informed systems model of care in Health settings: The WITH study investigates options to best promote a trauma-informed organisational model of care, responsive to survivors of sexual violence and practitioners, and embed it into the complex system of mental health and sexual violence services.

The PIPA project: Positive Interventions for Perpetrators of Adolescent violence in the home (AVITH) identifies adverse childhood events or trauma as a major contributor to the use of adolescent violence in the home.


Sexual Violence Awareness

October is also Sexual Violence Awareness Month in Queensland.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (further analysed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) shows that women are most likely to experience sexual violence from a previous cohabiting partner (4.5% of women) or a boyfriend/girlfriend or date (4.3% of women).

The prevalence of sexual violence as a tactic of abuse has been recognised by Australian DFV workers, who believe that 90–100% of their female clients have experienced sexual violence perpetrated by an intimate partner.

Intimate partner sexual violence provides a synthesis of the evidence on this issue: the intentional perpetration of sexual acts without consent in intimate relationships. The paper examines its characteristics, current service responses and prevention activities, and includes a case study as well as recommendations for policy and practice.

This synthesis is designed for policy-makers and practitioners engaging with people affected by domestic and sexual violence, and/or who are developing policy frameworks responsive to and inclusive of sexual assault in the context of domestic and family violence.


Children need to be the focus of domestic and family violence services

A new ANROWS research report finds that children’s needs must be moved to the front and centre of services supporting families living with domestic and family violence (DFV). Safe & Together: Addressing ComplexitY for Children (STACY for Children) explores the impacts on children when DFV co-occurs with parents’ mental health and substance abuse challenges.

The study found that despite how commonly these issues co-occur in families, there is a tendency for children’s needs to become invisible in adult-focused services.

The research analysed the impacts on children of the implementation of the Safe & Together Model™ in services across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, drawing on practitioner experiences from speciality DFV services, NGO family services, alcohol and other drug services, mental services and statutory child protection agencies.

The Model aims to ensure that services working with families affected by DFV prioritise keeping children safely with their non-offending parent (usually the mother) as the default starting point for effective support.

Led by Professor Cathy Humphreys at the University of Melbourne, the project found that when the model is implemented holistically, with strong collaborative practice across agencies, it leads to better outcomes for children and families affected by these complex and intersecting issues.


The STACY for Children project was developed in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, and jointly funded by ANROWS and the Queensland Government. It forms part of a broader suite of interconnected research, including the Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY (STACY) report, which was funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and published alongside guidelines for practitioners.

The research also builds on earlier ANROWS projects: the PATRICIA project (PaThways and Research Into Collaborative Inter-Agency practice) and Invisible practices: Interventions with fathers who use violence both centred on the Safe & Together Model.



Webinar: Working with complexity

1:00–2:00 pm (AEDT), 29 October 2020

Lead researcher on the STACY for Children project, Professor Cathy Humphreys, will join other experts to launch the new research and explore the implications for policy and practice in an ANROWS webinar on Thursday 29 October.

This webinar launches the new suite of interconnected research, Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY (STACY) and Safe & Together addressing ComplexitY for children (STACY for Children) along with accompanying resources, including two STACY practice guides.

Drawing on the research projects, the panel of researchers, practitioners and policymakers will discuss:

  • how the Safe & Together Model works in practice in adult-focused services
  • the impact of collaborative, holistic practice in addressing DFV and keeping children safe
  • why an authorising environment is needed to support organisational and practice change
  • future directions for research, and policy and service change.

There will also be a live Q&A.


Webinar: Law and Culture in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

“You can’t underestimate how alienated Aboriginal people feel from the mainstream DFV [domestic and family violence] system. The way it’s perceived is that the child protection system, the family violence system, the justice system: they’re all there to break up the family … It’s a very radical departure from how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people see family. Instead, let’s heal family, let’s bring family together.”—Professor Harry Blagg, researcher and webinar panellist

A warm thankyou to the excellent panellists and engaged audience at our webinar, “Understanding the role of Law and Culture in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in responding to and preventing family violence”.

We were delighted to have to double the size of our webinar service when more than 1000 people registered. For those of you who missed out, the webinar has been recorded and is now available on the ANROWS website.

The panel discussed recently published ANROWS research  exploring how responses to family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities could move away from the mainstream legal system and be grounded in Law and Culture, and the role that can be played by healing from intergenerational trauma while on-Country.




Grants of up to $1,800 are available to Local Domestic and Family Violence Committees across NSW for projects that raise awareness about the impacts of domestic and family violence.

The NSW Government is looking to fund promotional events for awareness of DFV. Past successful community events have included walks, candlelight vigils, and community information days. Find out more here.




South Australian Government: Committed to Safety: A framework for addressing domestic, family and sexual violence in South Australia (Progress Report September 2020)

Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service: Intergenerational Trauma—Our Communities Matter

AHURI: COVID-19 Research Hub

New research

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

Books and reports

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2020). The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle Indicators 2018–19: Measuring progress

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. (2020). An evaluation of the Suspect Target Management Plan. Crime and Justice Bulletin no. 233.

valentine, k., Cripps, K., Flanagan, K., Habibis, D., Martin, C., & Blunden, H. (2020). Inquiry into integrated housing support for vulnerable families (AHURI Final Report 339).

Wells, L. (2020). Media monitoring during COVID-19: Domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, women’s rights, gender equality.


Baird, K., Creedy, D. K., Brandjerdporn, G., & Gillespie, K. (2020). Red flags and gut feelings—Midwives’ perceptions of domestic and family violence screening and detection in a maternity department. Women and Birth.

Byerly, C. M. (2020). Incels online reframing sexual violence. Communication Review, 119.

Depraetere, J., Inescu, A. C., De Schrijver, L., Nobels, A., Keygnaert, I., & Vandeviver, C. (2020). Measuring sexual victimisation and perpetration in today’s society: Modifications to the sexual experiences survey. SocArXiv Papers.

Fiolet, R., Cameron, J., Tarzia, L., Gallant, D., Hameed, M., Hooker, L., . . . Hegarty, K. (2020). Indigenous people’s experiences and expectations of health care professionals when accessing care for family violence: A qualitative evidence synthesis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.

Flood, M., Dragiewicz, M., & Pease, B. (2020). Resistance and backlash to gender equality. Australian Journal of Social Issues.

Henry, N., Flynn, A., & Powell, A. (2020). Technology-facilitated domestic and sexual violence: A review. Violence Against Women, 26(15–16), 1828-1854.

McGlade, H. (2020). My journey into “child protection” and Aboriginal family led decision making. Australian Feminist Law Journal, 1–17.

Morgan, A. & Boxall, H. (2020). Social isolation, time spent at home, financial stress and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice, no. 609.

Scoglio, A. A. J., Marine, S. B., & Molnar, B. E. (2020). Responder perspectives on justice and healing for sexual violence survivors. Psychology of Violence.

Wong, J. D., Marshall, A. D., & Feinberg, M. E. (2020). Intimate partner aggression during the early parenting years: The role of dissatisfaction with division of labor and childcare. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice.

Wright, A., Shill, J., Honey, N., Jorm, A. F., & Bolam, B. (2020). The VicHealth Indicators population survey: Methodology, prevalence of behavioural risk factors, and use in local policy. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1497.

​In the media


To Catch a Stalker Part 1: Di McDonald’s dating story turned into a nightmare—Australian Story

To Catch a Stalker Part 2: How love letters were an obsessive ex-boyfriend’s undoing—Australian Story

Tinder: Investigation reveals the dark side of the dating app—Four Corners


Counting the global scale of intimate femicide—UNODC

NSW considers coercive control laws—ABC

Criminalising coercive control: A win or a waste of time?—The Wire


Criminalising coercive control will replace the broken lens we have on domestic abuse—Women’s Agenda

Should it be a crime to exert ‘coercive control’ over a domestic partner?—Sydney Criminal Lawyers

‘Why don’t they leave?’: Domestic violence court reforms proposed to dispel myths (NSW)—SMH

New law to help protect pets from domestic violence perpetrators—Media Office of Mark Speakman, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Unmatched: Tinder dating app helps sexual predators hide—ABC

Match Group changes Tinder’s safety policies following Four Corners and Hack investigation—ABC

Abusers in the ranks—ABC

Australians to undergo domestic violence check to sponsor overseas partner—The Age

As bushfire season looms over Australia, concerns linger about domestic violence after disasters—SBS

Footy finals during coronavirus leave experts “very worried” about spike in domestic violence—ABC

Feminist family violence chief has ‘lived experiences that shaped my life’—The Age

New Central Australian minimum standards to support and strengthen men’s behaviour change programs in the NT—The Mandarin

Conferences & events

4 November 2020: Animals and people experiencing domestic and family violence—Domestic Violence NSW

17–18 November 2020: PreventX conference online

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

25 November 2020: Domestic 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

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

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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