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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.


Gambling and intimate partner violence against women

A new ANROWS research report, titled The relationship between gambling and intimate partner violence against women, shows that while gambling does not directly cause intimate partner violence (IPV), it exacerbates it in serious ways.

Led by Professor Nerilee Hing from Central Queensland University, the project showed that gambling reinforces the gendered drivers of violence.

“Where you already have rigid gender roles, men’s control of decision-making, limits placed on women’s independence, and men condoning violence towards women, then a gambling problem greatly intensifies the frequency and severity of IPV,” explained Professor Hing.

Many of the women interviewed for the study described having an already abusive male partner whose gambling then greatly increased his violent behaviour.

Economic abuse emerged as a particularly common tactic of violence when connected to gambling. Nearly all of the women in the study whose partner had a gambling problem described being subjected to severe economic abuse, including economic control and economic exploitation.

The research also showed that gambling-related harm—including economic abuse—is being enabled by gambling operators. Many women and service providers in the study criticised gambling venues for largely ignoring problem gambling behaviours.

Intimate partner violence against women also increased when it was the woman who had the gambling problem. Men frequently used women’s gambling problems as an excuse for insults, threats, punches, slaps, stalking and rape.

The study found that some women seek out gambling venues as safe spaces: this feeds a cycle that reinforces both their gambling and the violence they are experiencing. In many geographic locations the women said they had no alternative safe place to go.

Despite the prevalence of both gambling problems and IPV in Australia, both are highly stigmatised. The research found that the shame associated with these experiences compounds women’s distress and acts as a barrier to seeking help.



Keeping children in view: Outcomes for families when using the Safe & Together Model

Evidence shows that domestic and family violence (DFV) often co-occurs with the challenges of mental health (MH) and alcohol and other drugs (AOD). In the context of families, this can significantly impact children.

Next week, ANROWS will release the findings of a study examining how adult-focused services that specialise in DFV, AOD and MH can support children. The research project, led by Professor Cathy Humphreys from the University of Melbourne, explored the implementation of the Safe & Together Model in services across several Australian jurisdictions.

The model aims to keep children safe and together with the non-offending parent.

Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY for children (STACY for Children) will examine the impact of holistic, collaborative and interagency approaches in addressing these complex intersecting issues and working with all members of the family.

ANROWS will host a webinar to discuss the findings on 29 October. The expert panel will explore why an authorising environment is needed to support organisational and practice change, as well as future directions for research, and policy and service change.

The webinar will also discuss how the new ANROWS report contributes to a broader suite of interconnected research, including the “Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY” (STACY) project, and useful accompanying practice guides, which have been funded by the Australian Department of Social Services and will be published on the same day as STACY for Children.

This research builds on earlier ANROWS projects, including the “PATRICIA” project (PaThways and Research Into Collaborative Inter-Agency practice) and “Invisible Practices: Interventions with fathers who use violence”, that both centred on the Safe & Together Model. It has been developed in collaboration with the Queensland Department for Child Safety, Youth and Women  and jointly funded by ANROWS and the Queensland Government.


Grants round coming

Don’t miss out on the announcement of a new ANROWS competitive grants round, opening later this month.

Our 2020–2022 Core Grant Research Program will see the distribution of a total of $1.157 million in funds, which have been provided to ANROWS by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the governments of all states and territories.

The projects will start in early 2021, with final, peer-reviewed reports to be submitted by 31 March 2022.

The targeted priority research gaps and other details will be circulated to Notepad subscribers later this month. Make sure you and your colleagues are the first to get the news: ask them to subscribe here!



Women’s Economic Security Statement

ANROWS welcomes the release of the Australian Government’s 2020 Women’s Economic Security Statement (WESS) coinciding with the announcement of the Federal Budget this week.

The WESS identifies five priorities, including support for women to be safe at work and home, incorporating a range of initiatives. It announces new funding of $2.1 million over three years for a Respect@Work Council and associated initiatives to reduce sexual harassment at work. This funding is in direct response to the report Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces produced by the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins. In May this year the report was the subject of an ANROWS webinar with ANROWS CEO, Dr Heather Nancarrow, who discussed its key findings and implications with Commissioner Jenkins, Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly and Clair Pirrett from the Northern Territory Working Women’s Centre. You can access the webinar conversation here.

The WESS provides a snapshot of prior commitments under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (the National Plan) and the $150 million committed in response to the increase in violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also notes that the Council of Australian Governments has committed to a new National Plan to be informed by the current House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs’ inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence, as well as stakeholder consultations.


Engaging men who use violence

Did you miss our webinar on men who use violence in behaviour change programs? You can now catch up with the recorded version.

Confrontational and punitive approaches are commonly used in men’s behaviour change programs, but often do not encourage men to develop an intrinsic motivation to engage in a meaningful way. Drawing on recent ANROWS research, this webinar explores building engagement through a personalised client–worker relationship, characterised by empathy and trust.

Have a listen to this challenging and deep conversation reflecting on the challenges and opportunities of practitioners working with men who use violence.



kNOwVAWdata: An online course on measuring violence against women

Globally there is an urgent need for reliable, ethically collected data to better understand, respond to and prevent violence against women. In response to this need, the kNOwVAWdata course has been developed by global experts from the University of Melbourne, with ANROWS, the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

kNOwVAWdata is an online, flexible, self-paced course commencing in December 2020. This training has been specifically designed for professionals seeking to build their skills in researching and measuring the prevalence of violence against women (VAW).

The course will guide participants in conducting rigorous and ethical prevalence surveys on violence against women to international best practice standards. It will cover:

  • key concepts relevant to measure VAW
  • tools used to generate reliable, comparable data
  • processes involved in undertaking a national prevalence study
  • ethical and safety guidelines
  • data management, analysis and dissemination
  • working with qualitative and administrative data
  • stakeholder engagement
  • strategies for ensuring an inclusive approach to understanding VAW.

For more information and to apply visit the kNOwVAWdata site.


Dhelk Dja Family Violence Fund—Victoria

Submissions for the Victorian State Government’s Dhelk Dja Family Violence Fund are now open to eligible Victorian Aboriginal organisations and community groups. This $18.2 million fund supports Aboriginal-led family violence responses and initiatives. Applications close 23 October.

National survey of migrant and refugee women

Harmony Alliance and Monash University have partnered to undertake a national survey of migrant and refugee women.

The researchers are seeking responses from anyone living in Australia over 18 years who identifies as a woman from a migrant or refugee background. The survey will help to build an understanding of the issues that are important to them, particularly in regard to their safety and wellbeing.



New books and reports

Women’s Economic Security Statement 2020—Australian Government

Family violence and temporary visa holders during COVID-19—Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

The health and wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer population in Victoria—Findings from the Victorian Population Health Survey 2017

Research brief: The criminalisation of coercive control—Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

Carrington, K., Morley, C., Harris, B., Vitis, L., Ball, M., Clarke, J., & Warren, S. (2020). Impact of COVID on domestic and family violence workforce and clients: Submission to the Australian Parliament Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs inquiry into and report on family, domestic and sexual violence.

Guggisberg, M., & Grobbelaar, M. (2020). An examination of circumstances related to forced marriage among culturally and linguistically diverse women in Australia. In M. L. Knudsen (Ed.), Victims of violence: Support, challenges and outcomes (pp. 205–229). Hauppage, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Tubex H., & Cox D. (2020) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women in Australian prisons. In George, L., Norris, A.N., Deckert, A., & Tauri, J. (Eds.), Neo-colonial injustice and the mass imprisonment of Indigenous women. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

New research

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

Anderberg, D., Rainer, H., & Siudae, F. (2020). Quantifying domestic violence in times of crisis (IFS Working Paper W20/29).

Bracewell, K., Hargreaves, P., & Stanley, N. (2020). The consequences of the COVID-19 lockdown on stalking victimisation. Journal of Family Violence.

Chon, D. S., & Clifford, J. E. (2020). Cross-national examination of the relationship between gender equality and female homicide and rape victimization. Violence Against Women.

Cleak, H., Hunt, G., Hardy, F., Davies, B., & Bell, J. (2020). Health staff responses to domestic and family violence: The case for training to build confidence and skills. Australian Social Work.

Dawson, M., & Carrigan, M. Identifying femicide locally and globally: Understanding the utility and accessibility of sex/gender-related motives and indicators. Current Sociology.

Farhall, K., Harris, B., & Woodlock, D. (2020). The impact of rurality on women’s “space for action” in domestic violence: Findings from a meta-synthesis. International Journal of Rural Criminology.

Hooker, L., Nicholson, J., Hegarty, K., Ridgway, L., & Taft, A. (2020). Victorian maternal and child health nurses’ family violence practices and training needs: A cross-sectional analysis of routine data. Australian Journal of Primary Health.

Janine, R., Nicola, C., & Jo Ann, P. (2020). Sexual assault examination and COVID-19: Risk reduction strategies in conducting forensic medical examinations of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive patient in Melbourne hospital hot zones.

Loney-Howes, R., & Fileborn, B. (2020). #MeToo in regional, rural and remote Australia: An analysis of regional newspapers reports profiling the movement. International Journal of Rural Criminology.

Markham, F., Smith, D., & Morphy, F. (Eds). (2020). Indigenous Australians and the COVID-19 crisis: Perspectives on public policy (Topical Issue no. 1/2020).

Murphy, B. (2020). Constructing consent in the Australian Capital Territory. Canberra Law Review.

Natarajan, M., & Babu, D. (2020). Women police stations: Have they fulfilled their promise? Police Practice and Research.

Roberts, N., Donovan, C., & Durey, M. (in press). Gendered landscapes of safety: How women construct and navigate the urban landscape to avoid sexual violence. Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Smyth, B. M., Moloney, L.J., Brady, J.M., Judge, J.H., & Esler, M. (2020). COVID‐19 in Australia: Impacts on separated families, family law professionals, and family courts. Family Court Review.

Tarzia, L. (2020). Women’s emotion work in the context of intimate partner sexual violence. Journal of Family Violence.

Tarzia, L., & Hegarty, K. (2020). A conceptual re-evaluation of reproductive coercion: Centring intent, fear and control. Preprints.

Williams, L., & Walklate, S. (2020). Policy responses to domestic violence, the criminalisation thesis and “learning from history”. Howard Journal of Crime and Justice.

​In the media


The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Thursdays: Responding to the “Shadow Pandemic”: Domestic violence during COVID-19


Partnered with a Survivor podcast: “When police officers commit domestic violence: Award-winning journalist and author Alex Roslin on the global problem of officer-involved domestic violence”—Safe & Together


Child care, domestic violence, science jobs and the unemployed: What do women get in the Federal Budget?—ABC

Safe places for women and children escaping violence [Media release]— Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston and Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth

Criminalising coercive control: Why we need a thorough consultation process on how to effectively address coercive controlling violence—Women’s Legal Service NSW

Australia is not ready to criminalise coercive control—Here’s why—The Conversation

Coercive control is a form of intimate terrorism and must be criminalised—The Guardian

Three-quarters of temporary migrants reporting domestic violence during coronavirus lockdown fear for their lives—SBS

“If you call 000 … I will send you back to your country”: How COVID-19 has trapped temporary visa holders—The Conversation

Australia’s first domestic violence shelter for Indian-origin women given funding boost—SBS

Country’s only Aboriginal-led men’s crisis service calls for sustainable family violence funding—National Indigenous Times

“Worst is yet to come”: Legal services desperate for money ahead of domestic violence wave—SMH

Prevention of domestic and family violence honoured—Queensland Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence

ACT Policing, counsellors, support services team up in bid to curb rising family violence in Canberra—ABC

The untrained workers on the front line of Australian domestic violence “pandemic”—The New Daily

LGBTIQ Aussies suffer higher rates of domestic violence, study finds—QNews

Conferences & events

7–28 October 2020—Coercive control and social entrapment: Addressing the violations of family violence by examining systems of power

8 October 2020: Responding to family violence by adolescents (Western Australia)—RMIT & ANROWS

14 October 2020: Families and gambling: Helping parents and improving outcomes for children—AIFS

20 October 2020: The views of Australian judicial officers on domestic and family violence perpetrator interventions—Family Law Pathways Networks

21 October 2020—Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre: Keeping perpetrators “in view” during the COVID restrictions

17–18 November 2020: PreventX conference online

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

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

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