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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.


Qualitative research into national community attitudes – NCAS Research Program

Two new research projects are now underway at ANROWS, connected to the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS).

The NCAS, a periodic survey funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, is a key mechanism for monitoring progress against the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. It measures change over time in Australians’ knowledge of and attitudes towards violence against women and gender equality, as well as intentions to intervene when witnessing abuse or disrespect towards women. ANROWS has been the lead agency for implementation of the NCAS since 2016. We led the 2017 NCAS, and are now preparing to lead the 2021 NCAS.

While Australians’ knowledge and attitudes regarding violence against women are generally improving, the 2017 NCAS results showed some remaining key areas for concern.

With additional funding from the Department of Social Services, ANROWS is undertaking two qualitative research studies to further investigate these concerning findings.

More detail about the two new projects is below.


Exploring Mistrust

Evidence shows that false reporting of sexual assault is rare. However, the 2017 NCAS found that there are high levels of community mistrust in women’s reports of experiencing sexual assault in some contexts.

Mistrust of this kind can prevent women from reporting violence to police or seeking help, and can adversely affect their treatment in the justice system.

This new study aims to develop an understanding of what drives attitudes of mistrust, and contribute to debunking myths about sexual assault.

Ten focus groups across Australia will be asked to discuss vignettes describing different reports of sexual assault. The research will study their interpretations of the vignettes and explore how these were influenced by:

  • the perceived motives of the woman making the report
  • knowing the accused or being able to relate to the accused, and
  • positive information about the accused (such as in media reports).

Young people’s attitudes

The 2017 NCAS also found that young people’s knowledge of violence against women had declined over time, and was lower than that of other age groups.

A second new NCAS study will delve into this finding in10 focus groups across Australia with young people aged 16–18 years. The study will investigate their understandings of violence in intimate relationships by exploring:

  • how young people conceptualise ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ relationship behaviours
  • why many young people fail to realise that violence against women is common
  • why many young people fail to realise that men are more likely to commit domestic violence and women are more likely to suffer severe consequences from domestic violence.

ANROWS researchers will probe young people’s understandings of relationship norms and examine the ways that abusive relationship behaviours may be considered part of ‘normal’ relationship dynamics. This will highlight opportunities for education and primary prevention initiatives with young people.


Interventions with refugee men who use domestic and family violence

A research project led by Professor Colleen Fisher from the University of Western Australia has developed a set of principles for practice in interventions with men from refugee backgrounds who use domestic and family violence.

The new research report finds that when working with refugee men who use violence, it is important to understand their violence in the context of refugee trauma and settlement challenges, and to recognise refugee family and community structures.

Key recommendations:

  • Engage with refugee communities to develop programs that align with best practice principles.
  • Build connections between refugee services and the broader domestic and family violence service system.
  • Explore the development of service delivery models that do not necessarily involve family separation.

Best practice principles for interventions with domestic and family violence perpetrators from refugee backgrounds


Best practice principles for working with men from refugee backgrounds who use domestic and family violence: Key findings and future directions


Enhancing practice when working with men from refugee backgrounds who use domestic and family violence

WorkUP Queensland

New practice studio host

ANROWS is pleased to announce the final successful Practice Studio host for this round of projects, as part of WorkUP Queensland.

Gympie Community Action group will be testing the implementation of the Social Entrapment Framework within their local community. The Framework was developed as part of an ANROWS research project led by Associate Professor Stella Tarrant (University of Western Australia) and Professor Julia Tolmie (University of Auckland), titled Transforming legal understandings of intimate partner violence.

“The Social Entrapment Framework offers potential to support women to tell their stories in such a way that the real safety risks and barriers to accessing support can be comprehended (and hopefully responded to) by justice systems and other systems,” said Talia, Manager of Gympie Community Action Group. “We are so excited by the opportunity to pilot this in our court support and advocacy”.

WorkUP Queensland is a five-year joint initiative of ANROWS and The Healing Foundation, funded by the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women. The project is working to support and build a strong and skilled sexual violence, women’s health and domestic and family violence workforce in Queensland.

WorkUP’s Practice Studios bring current evidence, research and knowledge to life through implementation in real-world settings. Each practice studio will take one example of new research evidence and try to implement it in their setting and, in doing so, learn what it takes to bridge the research to practice gap.

Lessons learned and resources developed will be shared across the sector, so that the benefits will be amplified.

The two previously announced hosts were:

  • Cairns Sexual Assault Service, with their practice studio implementing a trauma- and violence-informed model of care
  • Women’s Health Queensland, who will be using the ‘partnering with women’ element of the Safe and Together Framework with ambassadors across Queensland.

To find out more about WorkUP Queensland, visit www.workupqld.org.au and sign up to receive the newsletter.


2017–18 homicide report released

There were 46 intimate partner homicides in Australia between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018, according to official homicide data collated by the Australian Institute of Criminology.

This new data comes from the AIC’s Homicide in Australia 2017–18 report, which details the findings of the National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP), Australia’s only national data collection on homicide incidents, victims and offenders.

Importantly, the intimate partner homicide rate for women (where the victim was a woman) was 0.33 per 100,000. This is the lowest rate recorded since the commencement of the NHMP in 1989–90.

According to the report, among all homicides recorded during this period, 19% of male homicide offenders (n=34) and 29% of female offenders (n=10) had a known history of domestic violence.


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 newly published ANROWS research, “Best practice principles for interventions with domestic and family violence perpetrators from refugee backgrounds”.

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.



Q&A: Women’s safety in CALD communities – what works?

Last week we held a webinar to launch key insights about engaging culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in activities to prevent gender-based violence, and provide women with safer pathways to mainstream services.

Our audience asked so many important and interesting questions that we turned the conversation into a resource.

Missed the webinar? Access the resources and questions here.


Access past ANROWS webinars

ANROWS is running an ongoing webinar series featuring discussions about our published reports. Each panel includes researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and other specialists.

Each webinar is recorded and made available on demand – browse past webinars here.

COVID-19: Focus on the evidence

Since coronavirus restrictions were put in place, there has been a large volume of information available, including about the impacts on domestic, family and sexual violence services and the emergence of new forms of abuse.

The evidence is conflicting and confusing: with reports of both increases and decreases in calls for service and reports to police, and reports of new tactics of coercive control in intimate relationships.

In this editorial, ANROWS CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow outlines what we know and what it might mean.

New COVID-19 Resources

For services responding to women and their children experiencing violence

Self-isolation and COVID-19—1800Respect

Family Court COVID-19 updates and information—Family Court

How to be an ally to a loved one experiencing domestic violence: A guide for family and friends—Safe & Together Institute

[Listen] Partnered with a Survivor podcast: David Mandel and Ruth Stearns Mandel—Safe & Together Institute

Safe & Together in a Time of Crisis— Part 1: How to adapt your domestic abuse assessments during the pandemic— Safe & Together Institute

Safe & Together in a Time of Crisis—Part 2: COVID-19, Custody & Access and Domestic Abuse: How to assess and respond— NSPCC

Safeguarding Children and Young People Portal—Australian Catholic University

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and keeping children safe from abuse—Safe & Together Institute

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Families and Children—Family & Relationships Services Australia

A Guide to COVID-19 and Early Childhood Development—Harvard University Centre on the Developing Child

For family, friends and neighbours—Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria

COVID-19 within the approach of domestic violence and child abuse: Practical guidelines for professionals—European Alliance for Hope and Empowerment

Unpacking the challenges in the rental market during COVID-19—Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)

For services working with men

Shared pandemic-related fears offer us new opportunities to engage men in response to escalating domestic violence—Safe & Together Institute

[Watch] Policing repeat domestic violence: Would focused deterrence work in Australia?—Australian Institute of Criminology

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander specialist resource

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information—NACCHO – National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

Covid-19 resources for children and families—SNAICC


Unwanted phones can be a lifeline for domestic violence victims during coronavirus crisis (Qld)—ABC

International advice for parents—Office of the eSafety Commissioner

Financial abuse & safety

How banks can help during the coronavirus outbreak—Surviving Economic Abuse

Spotting the signs of economic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak – for family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues—Surviving Economic Abuse

For culturally & linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

Sector Updates—Settlement Council of Australia

Coronavirus information in your language—SBS

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Translated Resources: Information in Your Language—EthnoLink

For people with disability

Coronavirus COVID-19—Women with Disabilities Australia

Statement of Concern— COVID-19: Human Rights, Disability and Ethical Decision-Making—Disabled People’s Organisations Australia

Urgent measures needed to support people with disability during COVID-19 crisis—Women with Disabilities Australia

Workplace policy

When Domestic Violence Comes to Work (when work is at home): How workplaces can support remote employees—Australian Services Union

Sector Update on
White Ribbon Australia

Communicare has acquired the intellectual property and remaining assets of White Ribbon Australia. They say their focus is now to re-engage with people and organisations committed to reducing gendered violence.

They plan to build new collaborations with communities and stakeholders (including business and schools) around the country to “reimage, redesign and reinvent” White Ribbon’s role in engaging men and boys to prevent violence against women.

Communicare has prepared a Stakeholder Consultation Paper and is seeking feedback from stakeholders on your experiences with White Ribbon Australia and what you’d like to see the organisation focus on. Offer your reflections in this survey.

New research articles

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


Blatch, C., O’Sullivan, K., Goodman-Delahunty, J., Willis, M., & Delaney, J. J. (2020). Effectiveness of a Domestic Abuse Program for Australian Indigenous Offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Advance online publication.

Burry, K., Thorburn, N., & Jury, A. (2020). ‘I had no control over my body’: Women’s experiences of reproductive coercion in Aotearoa New Zealand. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 32(1).

Hegarty, K., Hindmarsh, E. D., & Gilles, M. T. (2000). Domestic violence in Australia: definition, prevalence and nature of presentation in clinical practice (Published online: 5 May 2020). The Medical Journal of Australia, 173(7), 363-367.

Keefe, R., & Hahn, S. A. (2020). Policy Roles in Promoting Affordable Housing for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence. Violence Against Women, Advance online publication.

Morgan, A., Boxall, H., Dowling, C., & Brown, R. (2020). Policing repeat domestic violence: Would focused deterrence work in Australia. Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice (no. 593).

Nesset, M. B., Lara-Cabrera, M. L., Bjørngaard, J. H., Whittington, R., & Palmstierna, T. (2020). Cognitive behavioural group therapy versus mindfulness-based stress reduction group therapy for intimate partner violence: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1), 178.

Pokharel, B., Hegadoren, K., & Papathanassoglou, E. (In press). Factors influencing silencing of women who experience intimate partner violence: An integrative review. Aggression and Violent Behavior.

Roach, A. L., Ermer, A. E., Coleman, M., & Ganong, L. (2020). Attitudes About Intimate Partner Violence and Alcohol Consumption. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Advance online publication.

Robinson, S., Frawley, P., & Dyson, S. (2020). Access and Accessibility in Domestic and Family Violence Services for Women With Disabilities: Widening the Lens. Violence Against Women, Advance online publication.

​In the media


Reintegrating People Who Have Sexually Abused Into the Community

Family Court introduces ‘COVID-19 List’ to fast track urgent parenting matters—ABC


New domestic violence campaign launched as complaints surge during lockdown—SMH

No to Violence welcomes game changing federal funding boost to help reduce family violence—No To Violence

Coronavirus: Victoria launches campaign to stop family violence—9News

Legal assistance sector gets $63.3m boost—Lawyers Weekly

Inside the Men’s Referral Service, a call centre dealing with Australia’s abusive men and domestic violence—ABC

Domestic violence removalist says coronavirus isolation has increased workload by 60 per cent— ABC

Domestic violence: What we can learn from Brazil—Monash Lens

Coronavirus concerns see family courts rush through applications linked to COVID-19—ABC

E-Safety Office records an 86% increase in online image-based abuse during March and a 340% spike of online abuse over Easter—ABC

Crime and Justice Statistics Bureau Brief: Monitoring changes in domestic violence in the wake of COVID-19 social isolation measures—BOCSAR

Police data shows no big jump in domestic violence during isolation—SMH

‘Ominous’ reason phones stopped ringing—Daily Mercury

Despite decrease in helpline calls, ‘non-voluntary’ domestic violence reports on the rise—9News

Domestic violence services prepare for demand as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease—ABC

Family violence perpetrators ‘threaten to expose children to COVID-19’—The Age

Now is not the time for child welfare to lose focus on domestic violence—Safe & Together Institute

Coronavirus: How COVID-19 is changing the world—Monash Lens

Mums with an intellectual disability already risk family violence and losing their kids. Coronavirus could make things worse—TheConversation

Urban Aboriginal people face unique challenges in the fight against coronavirus—The Conversation

At-risk Aboriginal women and children forgotten in crisis—Pursuit, University of Melbourne

Women on temporary visas experiencing DV are more vulnerable than ever—Women’s Agenda

Concerns about capacity to assess disclosures of violence in emergency departments—Croakey

How do we keep family violence perpetrators ‘in view’ during the COVID-19 lockdown?—The Conversation

Press 55 When Calling Triple Zero If It’s Not Safe To Speak—10Daily

Hotels in NSW offer temp rooms to homeless—The Australian

Homelessness and domestic violence addressed in funding package (ACT)—The Riot Act

Contribute to Notepad

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