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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.


Ten research insights from the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Projects with Action Research (CALD PAR) initiative

A new ANROWS publication provides key insights into “what works” when engaging culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in activities to prevent gender-based violence, and provide women with safer pathways to mainstream services.

The CALD PAR initiative was funded by the Department of Social Services and involved 26 projects in CALD communities across Australia. Each was aimed at the prevention of violence against women or at creating safer pathways to crisis and support services responding to family violence.

ANROWS supported the projects to use action research to evaluate their activities. This report draws on ANROWS’s analysis of projects’ action research findings, notes from support activities and evaluation surveys.

The report highlights the importance of intersectional practice that:

  • connects with communities to learn more about how experiences of oppression, privilege and colonial structures intersect in local contexts
  • critically reflects on inequalities in power and privilege between project teams and different community groups
  • collaborates and builds coalitions with community groups, services and individuals to work towards systemic change.

The report offers 10 research insights identifying directions for future work, such as increasing strengths-based community engagement and creating non-judgemental spaces to engage CALD men as allies.

The findings were launched in a webinar earlier today by Project Lead Dr Maria Koleth. The webinar explored findings with practitioners from multicultural services and will soon be made available for download.

The initiative has produced an array of publications and materials providing insights into the action research process, key learnings from ongoing project activities and recommendations for policy-makers and practitioners. You can explore all of these below.


Prevention of violence against women and safer pathways to services: Ten research insights from the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Projects with Action Research (CALD PAR) initiative


Cultural Safety Principles and Guidelines


Mapping tool: Safer pathways to family violence crisis and support services for CALD women


Addressing resistance to domestic and family violence responses in CALD communities


Video messages about prevention and pathways to support


Insights into the action research process, key learnings and recommendations


Prioritising women’s safety in men’s behaviour change programs

A new ANROWS research report suggests that every woman with a current or former partner involved with a men’s behaviour change program should be offered partner contact from the program or a partner organisation.

Partner contact involves working with the current or ex-partners of a program participant to provide them with support, information and safety planning. In many cases, this is also a crucial first pathway that woman and their children have to accessing formal services.

The research, led by Professor Donna Chung from Curtin University, shows that across the various kinds of Australian perpetrator interventions, there is no consistent approach to partner contact work.

The project identifies this lack of consistency as a risk to victims/survivors. Perpetrators may use their participation in the program as an opportunity to further their abuse. Conversely, if they stop participating in the program, victims/survivors may lose their access to support.

The research recommends the establishment of national minimum-practice standards for partner contact as a component of all men’s behaviour change programs. It also suggests this process must be adequately resourced, and that funding bodies should coordinate their criteria to ensure that effective partner contact is prioritised.

A Practice Guide has also been developed to help frontline workers apply the new evidence and prioritise victim/survivor safety when working with perpetrators of domestic and family violence.

Learn more about this research in our upcoming webinar (details below).


Prioritising women’s safety in Australian perpetrator interventions: The purpose and practices of partner contact


Prioritising women’s safety in Australian perpetrator interventions: Mapping the purpose and practices of partner contact


Prioritising victim/survivor safety in Australian perpetrator interventions: A Practice Guide


Register to learn more about the research and its applications

ANROWS’s Fourth Action Plan Research Program commences

ANROWS is pleased to announce the first two research projects to be delivered under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022, funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Over the next 18 months, researchers at the Australian Institute of Criminology will be investigating pathways to intimate partner homicide; and over the next two years, researchers at the Australian Institute of Family Studies will investigate non-compliance with family law parenting orders.

Both research projects will address crucial gaps in our understanding of domestic and family violence. More details about the two projects are below.




Pathways to intimate partner homicide

With about seventy women killed by their partners or ex-partners each year, the killing of an intimate partner is the most common form of homicide in Australia.

Despite sustained and growing demand for this problem to be addressed, we have limited knowledge about the patterns of behaviour leading up to each homicide, or the nature of the relationships between victims and offenders.

Researchers from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) will explore these patterns, identifying common sequences of events, interactions and relationship dynamics in the period leading up to a homicide, as well as potential points of intervention.

By improving our understanding of the trajectories within relationships, this research will help us recognise when a relationship is likely to be on a path to fatal violence, and offer a practical guide to intervening.

The researchers will examine data from hundreds of relevant homicides between 2006 and 2018, sourced from the Australian Institute of Criminology’s National Homicide Monitoring Program.

This project will build on the important work produced by the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network and by the death review processes in most states and territories, which identify areas for improvement in services’ and systems’ responses to prevent domestic violence–related deaths.


Family law parenting orders: Compliance and enforcement

The new research program will also include a project undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies to investigate the enforcement of parenting orders under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

As the federal parliamentary inquiry into the family law system continues, this research will provide important evidence about how separated couples interact with the court when parenting orders are contravened.

Discussions about the effectiveness of parenting orders are often mired in claims that they are frequently not complied with. This project will create a clearer evidence base to understand why people fail to comply with parenting orders.

The project will investigate how frequently allegations of family violence and sexual abuse are raised to justify breaches of parenting orders. It will also seek to establish what proportion of contravention matters are sought to be enforced by mothers as compared to fathers when there are allegations of violence involved.

This evidence will provide a baseline from which policy-makers can measure the impact of any future reforms.

The project will be based on several elements, including analysis of contravention matters, surveys of separated parents who have obtained parenting orders in the last five years, and surveys of professionals working in and with the family law system.



The practice of partner contact and prioritising women’s safety in domestic violence perpetrator interventions

The next webinar in our lunchtime series will explore the practice of partner contact in perpetrator intervention programs, drawing on newly published ANROWS research.

This webinar will be ideal for those who work in men’s behaviour change programs, or other services that work with men who use violence, as well as practitioners and policymakers working within domestic and family violence services.

Join our expert panel of researchers and practitioners on Thursday 30 April at 2pm AEST/ 12pm AWST. The panel will include the lead researcher on the research project, Professor Donna Chung, as well as Damian Green, CEO of Stopping Family Violence.

They will discuss:

  • how practitioners and services practice partner contact  the strengths and challenges of partner contact practice
  • key recommendations of the research
  • the Practice Guide, which has been developed to strengthen the= individual and organisational practices of partner contact.

Working with men from refugee backgrounds who use domestic and family violence

People from refugee backgrounds are likely to have experienced significant trauma and challenges around settlement. When working with refugee men who use violence, it is important to consider the context of pre-migration and post-settlement refugee experiences as well as the gendered nature of domestic and family violence.

Join us in this webinar at 2pm AEST / 12pm AWST on Thursday 14th May to explore how services can strengthen men’s behaviour change programs and practice when working with men from refugee backgrounds who use domestic and family violence.

The panel will draw on ANROWS research, ‘Best practice principles for interventions with domestic and family violence perpetrators from refugee backgrounds’ to be published on 29th April 2020.

Attendees will hear from Professor Colleen Fisher from The University of Western Australia; Mark O’Hare, Operations Manager at Stopping Family Violence; and Elizabeth Lang, Founder and CEO of Diversity Focus. Amanda Gillett from Perth’s Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre will moderate the conversation.

The panel will explore practice and service issues to consider when working with men from refugee backgrounds who use violence, and key recommendations of the research and the best practice principles. There will also be a live Q&A.



Webinar: Navigating a fragmented system

Now available: Last week ANROWS worked with the Australian Institute of Family Studies to bring you a webinar on “Sadie’s story: Helping women affected by domestic and family violence navigate a fragmented system ”.

The webinar focused on one woman’s story (Sadie: not her real name) to explore how services can help women navigate multiple systems and ensure they receive the support they need.

The panel discussed ANROWS research on the impact of domestic and family violence on parenting and parent–child relationships, as well as findings from the ANROWS research adapting the Safe and Together™ Model to improve interagency collaboration and interventions with fathers who use violence.


COVID-19 news and resources

ANROWS is now providing a regular update on Women’s Safety and COVID-19. This email alert offers news and resources as we respond to the impacts of the public health crisis.

All the materials from last week’s update are now available on our website.




New Resources

Unpacking the Gendered Drivers of Violence Against Women: Tip sheets—Partners in Prevention (Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria)








New Books & Reports

Elliott, K. (2020). Young Men Navigating Contemporary Masculinities. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Truong, M., Sharif, M., Pasalich, D., Olsen, A., Calabria, B., & Priest, N. (2020). Faith-based communities’ responses to family and domestic violence (CSRM Working Paper, No. 1/2020).




New research articles

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


Bridgett, A. (2020). Mandatory-arrest laws and domestic violence: how mandatory-arrest laws hurt survivors of domestic violence rather than help them. Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 30(1).

Buchanan, F., & Moulding, N. T. (2020). Mothering during domestic abuse: Protective agency as a force for change. Qualitative Social Work, Advance online publication.

Dheensa, S., Halliwell, G., Daw, J., Jones, S. K., & Feder, G. (2020). “From taboo to routine”: a qualitative evaluation of a hospital-based advocacy intervention for domestic violence and abuse. BMC Health Services Research, 20(1), 129.

Harrington, A. G., Overall, N. C., & Cross, E. J. (2020). Masculine gender role stress, low relationship power, and aggression toward intimate partners. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, Advance online publication.

Havard, T. E., & Lefevre, M. (2020). Beyond the Power and Control Wheel: how abusive men manipulate mobile phone technologies to facilitate coercive control. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, Advance online publication.

Hegarty, K., Hindmarsh, E. D., & Gilles, M. T. (2020). Domestic violence in Australia: definition, prevalence and nature of presentation in clinical practice. The Medical Journal of Australia, 173(7), 363-367.

Johnson, D. M., Wernette, G. T., Miller, T. R., Muzik, M., Raker, C. A., & Zlotnick, C. (2020). Computerized intervention for reducing intimate partner victimization for perinatal women seeking mental health treatment: A multisite randomized clinical trial protocol. Contemporary Clinical Trials, Advance online publication.

Pollard, R., & Ferguson, C. (2020). Intimate partner violence within Australian Defence Force families: an exploratory study. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, Advance online publication.

Robinson, A. L., & Clancy, A. (2020). Systematically identifying and prioritising domestic abuse perpetrators for targeted intervention. Criminology & Criminal Justice, Advance online publication.

Robinson, S. R., Ravi, K., & Voth Schrag, R. J. (2020). A Systematic Review of Barriers to Formal Help Seeking for Adult Survivors of IPV in the United States, 2005–2019. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, Advance online publication.

Ross, S., & Aitken, S. (2020). “If It Hadn’t Been Online I Don’t Think I Would Have Applied”: Applicant Experiences of an Online Family Violence Intervention Order Process. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Advance online publication.

Stefanidou, T., Hughes, E., Kester, K., Edmondson, A., Majeed-Ariss, R., Smith, C., . . . Lloyd-Evans, B. (2020). The identification and treatment of mental health and substance misuse problems in sexual assault services: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 15(4).

Contribute to Notepad

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

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