Women’s safety and COVID-19
ANROWS Notepad | 26 March 2020
Supporting you during COVID-19
This is a difficult and unprecedented time: the Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all in ways we could not have predicted just weeks ago.
Many practitioners continue to provide services to clients under new and difficult circumstances, while supporting their teams to stay safe. Reports from frontline services are consistent with evidence emerging from other affected countries: that the restrictions on movement put in place to limit the spread of the virus may place women and children at greater risk of domestic, family and sexual violence while reducing the capacity for services to respond.
Merrindahl Andrews from AWAVA has explained how abusers’ use of violence is likely to escalate with increased isolation, stress and lack of community accountability. Annabelle Daniel from Women’s Community Shelters reports that her organisation has already seen a 25-30% increase in women seeking help (on the ABC’s The Drum: start video at 13:43).
We know that this sector will be resilient, resourceful and skilled in its response to the current crisis. During this challenging period, ANROWS will continue to provide you with new research and resources, and (where possible and appropriate) will move our knowledge transfer activities online so that they are accessible remotely. This will maintain an ongoing evidence-base for your policy-making and practice as you support colleagues and clients.
For information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and guidance on how to stay healthy and minimise its impact, please continue to visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
Remote support: Online resources
Below is a collection of resources which may be helpful during this period of social distancing.
WESNET has provided advice on using technology to communicate with victims/survivors during a public health crisis. This resource explores connecting with victims/survivors remotely and offers guidance on keeping victims/survivors at the centre of crisis decision-making.
WESNET’s US partner TechSafety also offers advice on managing remote workplaces during a public health crisis.
This Practice Update from Stopping Family Violence outlines the changed context of risk for victims/survivors of domestic and family violence, as well as the implications for men’s behaviour change programs.
No to Violence offers a guide for sector workers who are adapting under the pressure of coronavirus, which includes information on alternative and additional service provision, adapted communication methods and home-isolation safety plans. Its purpose is to support your needs and those of your clients, aiming to address and mitigate any intensification of family violence.
Safe & Together Founder and Director David Mandel—who partnered with the University of Melbourne’s Professor Cathy Humphreys on ANROWS research, including the PATRICIA and Invisible Practices projects—has produced a suite of new materials to support your work during the crisis, including blog posts, special episodes of their podcast, Partnered with a Survivor, and a “5 minute” Live Stream Series from their Facebook page.
The Hon Will Alstergren, Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, has made a statement on Parenting Orders and COVID-19 in the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
Emerging Minds has produced a helpful range of videos, fact sheets and other resources designed to help you support children during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Lookout (Victoria) has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and Family Violence, including FAQs on the incidence of violence in a public health crisis, the gendered impacts of violence, and service delivery responses in Victoria.
The Domestic Violence Action Centre (DVAC) in Queensland has developed two factsheets on COVID-19 and self-isolation, one highlighting that you are not required to be a prisoner in your own home if you are at risk of serious harm, and the other offering key points to consider if you have to stay home with a violent partner.
Economic Justice Australia has published a factsheet providing information on what Centrelink can do for people affected by COVID-19.
For women’s shelters in Queensland that need to complete Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) activities, one-on-one support, online learning, and templates are available: please email email@example.com.
Justice Connect has published a COVID-19 Response Briefing Note with guidance for the not-for-profit sector on legal issues including employment, contracts and insurance.
Working from home? Join our webinars
Our webinar series is a great way to connect with many of the researchers, practitioners and survivor-advocates who work with ANROWS. Join us in these facilitated online presentations, submit questions to the panelists and engage in a moderated conversation with other sector specialists.
Check for the next webinar on the KTE Activities page of our website:
Sadie’s story: Helping women affected by domestic and family violence navigate a fragmented system
ANROWS and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) invite practitioners to a webinar exploring how services can help women navigate multiple systems to ensure they receive the support they need.
This webinar focuses on one woman’s story of domestic and family violence (DFV). Sadie (not her real name) is an Aboriginal woman and mother of two. Her story sheds light on how fragmented service systems can often fail to meet women’s needs, and may even exacerbate the challenges they experience at the intersection of gender and racial inequality.
This webinar will discuss Sadie’s story and reflect on research that has highlighted:
- the impact of DFV on parenting and parent–child relationships
- the challenges for women of trying to navigate a fragmented service system
- the need to improve practices to better meet the needs of women and children.
This webinar will be of interest to professionals working in the fields of DFV, family law, child protection, family relationship services, housing and related services.
Domestic violence identification and response in antenatal care: Research report, practical guidelines & online resources
New ANROWS research, Sustainability of identification and response to domestic violence in antenatal care (The SUSTAIN Study), provides an evidence base for of maintaining and improving screening for domestic violence in antenatal care settings.
The research draws on the experiences of women and practitioners in six antenatal clinics across Victoria and New South Wales. Their responses emphasise the importance of building relationships with pregnant women during the screening process.
The report puts forward a framework for implementing effective domestic violence screening, called the REAL Transformation Model. REAL is a relationship-based model based on woman-centred, holistic and tailored care in antenatal health care services. It promotes values of allocating adequate time and providing an environment that is conducive to building relationships with and effectively engaging women.
A suite of online resources has been developed to help practitioners understand and implement the model. Practical guidelines are also available, including scripts for midwives, obstetricians, social workers and GPs to use when speaking with pregnant women. You can also hear researchers and health practitioners exploring the research findings and the REAL model in this recorded webinar.
The REAL model can be used in all Australian health settings. It is important for those working in state-based health systems with mandatory antenatal domestic violence screening (such as NSW and Victoria), as well as in states and territories where screening is either partially implemented, or under consideration.
This work builds upon earlier ANROWS research, the Women’s Input into a Trauma-informed systems model of care in Health settings (the WITH study), which explored the implementation of trauma-informed care in hospital mental health systems.
RESEARCH TO POLICY AND PRACTICE PAPER
The REAL Transformation Model (print version)
The REAL Transformation Model: DV Health Tools (videos and resources)
NEW REPORT PUBLISHED
Community-based approaches to sexual offender reintegration
Community safety is improved when sexual offenders are supported to reintegrate into communities.
Programs that provide this support to offenders should be resourced, according to a new ANROWS research report .
Led by Associate Professor Kelly Richards at the Queensland University of Technology, the research forms part of ANROWS’s ongoing research stream investigating interventions with perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence. It contributes to our understanding of how community-based programs affect recidivism; very little research of this kind has been conducted in Australia.
The project investigated two community-based, non-therapeutic programs providing reintegration support in Australia; Circles of Support and Accountability in Adelaide and the Cultural Mentoring Program (CMP) in Townsville.
Circles of Support and Accountability were shown to help participants to build new identities as non-offenders, while holding members to account by providing them with a network of community-based volunteers. The CMP works with released Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders, building strong and positive non-offending cultural identities with a focus on connections with family, culture and Country.
Victims/survivors were consulted on the effectiveness of the reintegration programs. While views were diverse, victims/survivors said that these programs help increase their sense of safety as the perpetrator is being monitored by services who are able to report concerns.
The women called for strategies that:
- physically distance victims/survivors from offenders
- provide victims/survivors with information on the release of offenders
- offer pathways to affordable and accessible therapeutic interventions for both victims/survivors and perpetrators
- ensure monitoring of perpetrators and provide them with help addressing their offending-related needs.
These safety needs were found to align closely with the goals of the two programs that were studied.
RESEARCH TO POLICY AND PRACTICE PAPER
New CEO for The Healing Foundation
Announced today, Fiona Petersen has been appointed CEO of The Healing Foundation. ANROWS has been working closely with the Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address ongoing trauma, on the delivery of WorkUP Queensland, a five-year initiative supporting and building a strong and skilled sexual violence, women’s health and domestic and family violence workforce in Queensland.
ANROWS CEO, Dr Heather Nancarrow, welcomed the announcement and said she looks forward to continuing to work with Fiona, an outstanding leader and advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who previously held the role of Deputy CEO of the Healing Foundation.
Fiona is a Wuthathi (Shelburne Bay) descendant with family roots in the Torres Straits, and has an extensive background working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. She has held senior roles in community and government organisations and applies her global experience in education, leadership and business development to raise awareness around the impacts of intergenerational trauma.
Heather also acknowledged the leadership of Interim CEO Russell Taylor, who will be returning to his previous position on The Healing Foundation Board, and thanked Russell for his support and collegiality.
We warmly congratulate Fiona and wish her every success in the new role.
In response to the impacts of COVID-19, ANROWS has postponed its 2020 National Research Conference (previously planned for 28-30 April 2020).
- Registrations have been temporarily closed.
- A new date will be planned and announced as soon as possible, although a considerable delay is highly likely. This information will be distributed via Notepad, and will be posted on the conference website.
- Delegates who have already registered will have their tickets automatically carried over to the new conference dates. If you are unable to attend these dates, or cancellation is ultimately required, a full refund will be made available.
- Delegates who have booked accommodation at the Hilton can cancel without incurring a fee by contacting the Hilton, Adelaide, directly.
ANROWS is disappointed that we will be unable to meet with you in April. We are working to make new plans for the conference and to ensure we all have this important opportunity to discuss evidence in action. A substantial period of time is likely to lapse before we can advise further on a new date and we appreciate your understanding and patience.
Secretariat of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is appointing following new mandate holders, including a Special Rapporteur on the trafficking in persons, especially women and children (HRC resolution 35/5). The appointment will be made at the forty-fourth session of the Council (HRC44), to be held from 15 June to 3 July 2020.
Information on the selection process can be found here. Individual applications are open until 15 April 2020.
Books & Reports
Baker, E., Leishman, C., Bentley, R., Pham, N. T. A., & Daniel, L. (2020). Social housing exit points, outcomes and future pathways: an administrative data analysis. AHURI Final Report (No. 326).
Chan, O., & Sheridan, L. L. (2020). Psycho-Criminological Approaches to Stalking Behavior: An International Perspective. New Jersey, United States: Wiley.
Family Safety Victoria. (2019). The Orange Door Annual Service Delivery Report 2018-2019.
Frawley, P., & Anderson, S. (2014). Adopting mainstream approaches: Taking account of and including people with an intellectual disability in violence and abuse prevention (VicHealth Innovation Research Grant).
Hamel, J., Russell, B. & Wagers, S. (Eds.) (2020). Partner Abuse: New Directions in Research, Intervention, and Policy. New York, United States: Springer Publishing.
McCosker, A., Farmer, J., & Panah, A. S. (2020). Community responses to family violence: Charting policy outcomes using novel data sources, text mining & topic modelling (Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne).
Walklate, S., Fitz-Gibbon, K., McCulloch, J., & Maher, J. (2019). Towards a Global Femicide Index: Counting the Costs. London: Routledge.
New research articles
Ewin, R., Bates, E., & Taylor, J. (2020). Domestic abuse orders: risk, vulnerability and training. Journal of criminological research, policy and practice.
Goldstein, B. L., Briggs-Gowan, M. J., & Grasso, D. J. (2020). The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and a History of Childhood Abuse on Mental Health and Stress during Pregnancy. Journal of Family Violence.
Gracia, E., Lila, M., & Santirso, F. A. (2020). Attitudes Toward Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the European Union. European Psychologist, 1-18.
Hu, R., Xue, J., Lin, K., Sun, I. Y., Wu, Y., & Wang, X. (2020). The Patterns and Influencing Factors of Help-Seeking Decisions among Women Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence in China. Journal of Family Violence.
Kuskoff, E., & Parsell, C. (2020). Preventing Domestic Violence by Changing Australian Gender Relations: Issues and Considerations. Australian Social Work, 73(2), 227-235.
McCulloch, J., Maher, J., Walklate, S., McGowan, J., & Fitz-Gibbon, K. (2020). Justice perspectives of women with disability: An Australian story. International Review of Victimology, 0269758020906270.
Muluneh, M. D., Stulz, V., Francis, L., & Agho, K. (2020). Gender Based Violence against Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cross-Sectional Studies. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(3), 903. Retrieved from
O’Shea, A., & Frawley, P. (2020). Gender, sexuality and relationships for young Australian women with intellectual disability. Disability & Society, 35(4), 654-675.
Puronvarsi, N. R., Viivi; Holma, Juha. (2020). Female survivors’ experiences of authorities’ actions in cases of partner stalking. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, (Advance online publication).
McMahon, M. & McGorrery, P. (Eds.), (2020). Criminalising Coercive Control : Family Violence and the Criminal Law. Singapore: Springer Singapore.
Strauss, P., Cook, A., Winter, S., Watson, V., Wright Toussaint, D., & Lin, A. (2020). Mental Health Issues and Complex Experience of Abuse Among Trans and Gender Diverse Young People: Findings from Trans Pathways. LGBT Health.
In the media
The Drum – ABC (start video at 13:43).
The Gender Card in criminal violence with Robyn Holder – The Gender Card, Griffith Criminology Institute
Mapping domestic violence perpetrators’ use of COVID-19 pandemic to increase coercive control – Partnered with a Survivor: David Mandel and Ruth Stearns Mandel
State seeks law to ban coercive domestic abuse –The Australian
Domestic violence: What we can learn from Brazil – Monash Lens
No place for ‘good bloke’ excuse – Pursuit, University of Melbourne
Five ways for your charity to stay ahead of COVID-19 – Probono Australia
Victorian family violence victims left homeless after seeking help – Probono Australia
Women released from prison are at much greater risk of violence – The Conversation
Legal help centres stop face-to-face services despite rising need – The Australian
The many faces of social housing – home to 1 in 10 Australians – The Conversation
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