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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.

NAIDOC Week: Acknowledging Country

NAIDOC week is coming up this weekend! Originally delayed to ensure the safety of communities during COVID-19, in 2020 it begins this Sunday 8 November and runs until 15 November.

ANROWS celebrates with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and peers, and is privileged to work alongside them.

Celebrating Country

This year’s theme is “Always was, Always will be”, inviting reflection on the spiritual and cultural connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to this country. “Country” refers to the land to which Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples belong, and where the spiritual essence of their ancestors remains in the landscape, the sky and the waters.

Recognising this connection is at the core of what ANROWS does to acknowledge Country. We prioritise everyday opportunities to do this in a contextualised way, taking the time to reflect on respect for Traditional Owners of Country and the practical implications of our work to promote the safety of women and their children. We also acknowledge Country and the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in each of our publications.

For non-Indigenous people in Australia, an essential first step in this process is to identify and recognise the Traditional Owners of the unceded land on which they live and work. This map offers a simple tool for you to identify the Indigenous Country where you are, and learn the traditional names of our capital cities.


The evidence we produce—and recommendations for policymaking and practice design—deeply benefits from the valuable work and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers.

Recent reports published with significant leadership from Indigenous research team members include “Kungas’ trauma experiences and effects on behaviour in Central Australia”, a report that explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s life stories and the connection between trauma and incarceration, and “Understanding the role of law and culture in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in responding to and preventing family violence”.

Important forthcoming research from ANROWS will include two reports led by Professor Marcia Langton AO, foundation chair of Australian Indigenous studies at the University of Melbourne. These reports explore “Improving family violence legal and support services for Indigenous women” and “Improving family violence legal and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who are perpetrators of family violence”.

Find out more

You can read more about how we are guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in our work towards addressing family violence in the Warawarni-gu Guma Statement: Healing together in Ngurin Ngarluma.

Find out more about what’s happening and how you can celebrate this NAIDOC week.


“Safe, Respected, and Free from Violence”: An evaluation of primary prevention projects

ANROWS has launched a new study with researchers from the Equality Institute  to explore the impacts of two primary prevention projects managed by Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation in Alice Springs.

The study will evaluate “Mums Can Dads Can/Girls Can Boys Can”, a project that engages families, communities and children to develop gender-equitable early childhood resources and messages, and “Old Ways are Strong”, which develops community-driven media resources to combat racist attitudes towards violence against Aboriginal women and promote healthy relationships. Both projects were developed in partnership with Larapinta Child and Family Centre and iTalk.

The evaluation will assess the impact of the projects on the participating Aboriginal young people’s and families’ attitudes and beliefs about gender, violence and Aboriginal culture. The study will also assess the extent to which resources and media developed by the two projects effectively communicate key anti-violence, anti-racist and gender-equitable messaging to its audience.



Image-based sexual abuse: Victorian findings

When Victoria’s image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) offences were introduced, they were understood to relate to the emerging and comparatively minor problems (as they were often then perceived) of upskirting, sexting and “revenge pornography”.

The Victorian Sentencing Council’s new report on the issue draws on evidence provided by ANROWS and shows that previous understandings of IBSA trivialised the problem. These offences are instead complex, reflecting distinct behaviour patterns that are often associated with more serious offending, including family and sexual violence, stalking and child pornography.

Of the IBSA offences analysed, the report found that 58 percent were committed in the context of family violence. Speaking with the ABC, Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council Chair Arie Freiberg said that the link was “startling” to find: “I don’t think that was really well understood and it came as a surprise to us that there was such a close connection.”

The report suggests possible legislative amendments that may enhance police investigative powers and sentencing practices for IBSA offending. It also suggests that perhaps the most useful next step is to improve awareness of the issue. This includes awareness of the prevalence, associated harms and criminality of these behaviours—and avenues for dealing with them—among the general community, those responsible for investigating and prosecuting IBSA offending, and victims/survivors and offenders themselves.

Such awareness could help discourage offending, improve reporting rates, encourage criminal justice actors to become more sensitive to the harms that victims/survivors experience, and encourage criminal justice responses to become more commensurate with those harms.

ANROWS research is currently investigating the extent and impacts of technology-facilitated abuse in Australia. This project aims to better understand the nature and characteristics of this kind of abuse, and to establish reliable national prevalence rates for victimisation and perpetration, including online sexual harassment, stalking, partner violence and image-based sexual abuse.

This project is currently seeking feedback from sector workers who have clients experiencing technology-facilitated abuse, or who use technology as a tool of abuse. Please find out more and complete the survey here.


Apply for funding through the 2020–2022 ANROWS competitive grants round

Applications for funding under the 2020–2022 ANROWS Core Grant Research Program competitive grants round are closing soon!

Grants are available for projects that will investigate the impacts on and needs of children and young people who are exposed to violence against women, especially those from marginalised communities.

This research gap has been identified under Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2020–2022 (ANRA), recently published by ANROWS.

Find out more about the selection criteria and how to apply on our website. Answers to your FAQs are also available.

Applications close at 11:59pm (AEDT) Monday 9 November 2020.


ANROWS Conference

New online format, new dates

The ANROWS National Research Conference is back—and better.

After postponing our face-to-face conference in April, we have taken a step back to reimagine a more affordable, more accessible and interactive online symposium.

Evidence in Action

This online symposium will be a nimble, participatory and engaging event.

Spread over five days, sessions will offer insights from women with lived expertise, researchers, policymakers and practitioners in a range of engaging formats.

Your contribution will be a valuable and important part of the conversation.

Registrations will open soon.


Accurately identifying the person most in need of protection

1–2:30 pm (AEDT) 25 November 2020

Misidentification of the victims of domestic and family violence as perpetrators is a significant problem in Australia. Join us for a webinar exploring this issue.

Of the deaths related to domestic and family violence (DFV) 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 from ANROWS, led by CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow, explores how to best identify and respond to the “person most in need of protection”.

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 being misidentified 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, and the Queensland Police Service’s Inspector Ben Martain, Manager of the State Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit.



Catch up: Working with complexity

“The PATRICIA project really confirmed there were significant opportunities for improving our child protection practice.”—Julieann Cork, Regional Executive Director of the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

If you missed last week’s webinar on “Working with complexity”, you can now access the recording on our website.

The webinar launched several pieces of interconnected research exploring the applications of the Safe & Together Model in Australia. Our expert panel explored how services can place children’s needs at the front and centre of their responses to families experiencing the complex—but common— intersection of domestic and family violence, challenges with mental health, and use of alcohol and other drugs.

The panel discussed research including “Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY” (STACY), “Safe & Together addressing ComplexitY for children” (STACY for Children), the “PATRICIA” project (PaThways and Research Into Collaborative Inter-Agency practice) and “Invisible practices: Interventions with fathers who use violence”. You can also access accompanying resources, including two STACY practice guides.




WorkUP Queensland is now offering grants to support organisations to develop the capacity of their staff and organisation to respond to workforce challenges.

The grant program will provide grants of up to $10,000 (from a pool of $50,000) for an activity or project to be completed within 12 months in the domestic, family violence, sexual violence and women’s health and wellbeing sector.

To learn more, please see the WorkUP website.


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.


The Australian Government is planning a National Memorial for Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. They are seeking the views of service users, sector colleagues and others impacted by institutional and other forms of child sexual abuse.

The memorial will recognise the national significance of institutional child sexual abuse and its impact on people with lived experience, their families and their communities. Its development was recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

You can give your views anonymously via an online survey. The survey will close at 11:59pm AEDT on Sunday 22 November 2020. Please contact the National Memorial Team with any enquiries.


Do you work with or provide services to men? The Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre (MGFVPC) want to hear about your screening practices for family violence through this short survey (5–10 minutes).

This project is the first national examination of current practices and future directions for screening, identifying, assessing and managing men’s risk of DFV perpetration across specialist men’s and mainstream services in Australia.




Territory Families—Northern Territory Government Domestic and Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Framework (RAMF)

Western University Canada—Gender, Trauma and Violence Knowledge Incubator

Marie Stopes Australia—Reproductive Coercion is not a Buzzword

Community Transitions—Don’t Become That Man

Plan International—Free to be online? Girls’ and young women’s experiences of online harassment

Books & reports

Pfitzner, N., Fitz-Gibbon, K., McGowan, J., & True, J. (2020). When home becomes the workplace: Family violence, practitioner wellbeing and remote service delivery during COVID-19 restrictions. Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.

Cripps, K. (2020). Implementation options and evaluation of integrated service model responses to address family violence in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities (Research Brief 30, October 2020). Retrieved from Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse website.

Parliament of NSW. (2020). Criminalising coercive control in the context of domestic and family violence: Key sources (Issues backgrounder, Number 4/October 2020).

Victoria State Government Sentencing Advisory Council. (2020). Sentencing Image-Based Sexual Abuse Offences in Victoria.

Lane, R., & United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous Peoples (Policy Brief No. 70).

Owusu-Addo, E., O’Halloran, K., Brijnath, B., & Dow, B. (2020). Primary prevention interventions for elder abuse: A systematic review [Prepared for Respect Victoria on behalf of National Ageing Research Institute].

New research articles

Ahmadabadi, Z., Najman, J. M., Williams, G. M., & Clavarino, A. M. (2020). Income, gender, and forms of intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 35(23-24), 5500-5525.

Anthony, C., Grant, I., Ashford, L. J., Spivak, B., & Shepherd, S. M. (2020). Exploring differences in the experiences, perceptions and reporting of violent incidents in Australia by country of birth. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Barocas, B., Avieli, H., & Shimizu, R. (2020). Restorative justice approaches to intimate partner violence: A review of interventions. Partner Abuse.

Barrett, B. J., Fitzgerald, A., Stevenson, R., & Cheung, C. H. (2020). Animal maltreatment as a risk marker of more frequent and severe forms of intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 35(23–24), 5131–5156.

Bellini, R., Tseng, E., McDonald, N., Greenstadt, R., McCoy, D., Ristenpart, T., & Dell, N. (2020). “So-called privacy breeds evil”: Narrative justifications for intimate partner surveillance in online forums. Paper presented at the 23rd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2020), New York.

Bones, P. D. C. (2020). Sexual citizenship and lifetime sexual assault: Exploring the risks for sexual minority women with a physical limitation. Sociological Spectrum, 1–15.

Campo, M., Fehlberg, B., Natalier, K., & Smyth, B. (2020). Mothers’ understandings of “home” after relationship separation and divorce. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 1–17.

Carrington, K.,  Bull, M., Lopes, G., Ferreira, G.M., Puyol, M.V. (2020). Reimaging the policing of gender violence: Lessons from women’s police stations in Brazil and Argentina. Brazilian Journal of Public Policy.

Douglas, H., McGlade, H., Tarrant, S., & Tolmie, J. (2020). Facts seen and unseen: Improving justice responses by using a social entrapment lens for cases involving abused women (as offenders or victims). Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 1–19.

Gilbert, B., Stewart, A., Hurren, E., Little, S., & Allard, T. (2020). Dual-system involvement: Exploring the overlap between domestic and family violence and child maltreatment perpetration. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Goss, C. (2020). Common knowledge in the common law: Challenges in domestic violence cases. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 1–18.

Milani, A., & Leschied, A. (2020). Muslim women’s service utilization for intimate partner violence: Front line service providers’ perceptions of what constitutes a culturally informed response. Health Care for Women International, 1–21.

Piedalue, A., Gilbertson, A., Alexeyeff, K., & Klein, E. (2020). Is gender-based violence a social norm? Rethinking power in a popular development intervention. Feminist Review, 126(1), 89–105.

Pokharel, B., Yelland, J., Wilson, A., Pantha, S., & Taft, A. (2020). Culturally competent primary care response for women of immigrant and refugee backgrounds experiencing family violence: A systematic review protocol. Collegian.

Wu, Y., Chen, J., Fang, H. & Wan, Y. (2020). Intimate Partner Violence: A bibliometric review of literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(15).

Conferences & events

12 November 2020: Unpacking the Invisible: Examining domestic and family violence in culturally diverse communities—Australia at Home/Settlement Services International

17 November 2020: Rethinking the role of judicial officers in creating systems accountability—Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

17–18 November 2020: PreventX conference online

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: 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

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

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

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

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

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