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Our research

Violence against women and 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.


Children’s recovery from COVID-19 needs to be a national policy focus

During a recent ANROWS webinar focusing on COVID-19 and the “shadow pandemic” of domestic and family violence (see below), National Children’s Commissioner Anne Hollonds spoke to the battle involved in getting the voices of children listened to in various stages of policy, including development, implementation and evaluation, and acknowledged the struggle to meaningfully incorporate children’s voices.

A tranche of recent research, including a newly published ANROWS report (see below), has pointed to the need to learn the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of responding to domestic and family violence going forward – in both the next phases of this pandemic, and any future pandemics or disasters. It is critical that we also adopt this approach when considering responses to children and young people who are impacted by the pandemic and by DFV.

Speaking on the 7.30 Report, the commissioner said, “I think we need a national COVID recovery plan for children, that goes across portfolios and jurisdictions, that looks at all the areas of a child’s life and the needs of the families who are raising them.” As the successor plan to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020 is developed, ANROWS, too, would like to acknowledge the need for COVID-19 recovery strategies to ensure the needs of children and young people are addressed, and continues to focus on children and young people as victims and survivors of DFV in their own right.

ANROWS has identified the continuing need for this focus through Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2020–2022. The number one priority topic is children and young people, including their experiences of DFV and the short- and long-term physical, emotional and psychological impacts of these experiences, and the inclusion of this issue in the national agenda speaks to our authoritative leadership in setting the research agenda for policy designed to address this gap. A number of ANROWS research projects, under the Core and Fourth Action Plan (4AP) research programs, focus on the needs of children and young people, including “Respectful relationships education in secondary schools: A statistical social network analysis of a program intervention designed to build positive gender-related attitudes and respectful peer relationships in Australian schools”, “Investigating the mental health of children exposed to domestic and family violence through the use of linked police and health records”, and “Connecting the dots: Understanding the DFV experiences of children and young people with disability within and across sectors”. In many cases, these projects build on prior ANROWS-funded research, including the “STACY for Children” and “PIPA” projects. More information on these and other projects focusing on children and young people is available through our website.



Women’s experiences of intimate partner violence during COVID-19

ANROWS has recently released new research exploring the experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) among women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of women in Australia presents the findings of a nationwide study conducted by Hayley Boxall and Anthony Morgan at the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Based on a survey of 10,000 women about their experiences of IPV during the pandemic, the report represents Stage 1 of a larger national research project that provides the most comprehensive survey of women in Australia about their experiences of IPV during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report found that many women experienced a range of physical and non-physical forms of abuse, often in combination, and that the pandemic coincided with first-time and escalating violence for a significant proportion of women – many of whom attributed these changes to factors associated with the pandemic. The survey results also point to diverse experiences of violence among women, in terms of the types of abuse experienced, but also whether violence had increased or decreased during the pandemic.

Crucially, the report acknowledges the increase in risk both of children witnessing IPV and of being victims and survivors of family violence themselves. One in five (20.9%) women who experienced verbally abusive and threatening behaviours reported that their partner had threatened to hurt their child(ren), and the researchers recognise that future research should investigate children’s experiences of family violence during the pandemic and focus on child victims’ and survivors’ safety.

You can read the research report, and a companion resource capturing key findings, on the ANROWS website. ANROWS also recently hosted a webinar to launch the research, details of which can be found below.


NSW Government invests $484.3 million in women’s safety

The NSW Government has today announced a funding package totalling almost half a billion dollars to support women and children escaping DFV.

This includes $52.5 million over four years to build 200 sustainable, social and affordable dwellings, and additional funds provided to homelessness services supporting children experiencing DFV.

“Everyone has the right to live a life free from violence and abuse, a right that is far too often callously eroded by those who perpetrate domestic violence,” said NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.

ANROWS welcomes the news of the package and notes that it comes in the wake of the Australian Government $5,000 Escaping Violence Payment, announced in the Federal Budget in May, becoming available to access.


Australian Child Maltreatment Study, 2019 to 2023

Five thousand young people aged 16 to 24 are being interviewed about their historical childhood exposure to maltreatment as part of a study, captured in ANROWS’s Register of Active Research (RAR), aiming to identify how many Australians have been exposed to child abuse and neglect.

A total of 10,000 Australians are being interviewed as part of the study, and asked about their exposure to five types of maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic and family violence.

Beyond capturing prevalence data, the Australian Child Maltreatment Study (ACMS), led by Professor Ben Mathews at the Queensland University of Technology, will calculate the burden of disease resulting from childhood exposure to abuse and neglect over the course of the lifespan. The study is supported by the Australian Government, and its findings will add to the evidence base supporting policy and practice regarding the reduction and prevention of child maltreatment in the country.

ANROWS encourages all researchers who have research underway in the area of domestic and family violence to register their projects with the RAR. Registration is simple and the utility of the register increases with every project added. You might even see your project featured in the next edition of Notepad!


“Chuck her on a lie detector”: Investigating Australians’ mistrust in women’s reports of sexual assault

As many as four in 10 Australians mistrust women’s reports of sexual violence, according to the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey. This mistrust is in stark contrast to the fact that false allegations of sexual assault are extremely rare and the vast majority of sexual assault in Australia remains unreported.

An upcoming ANROWS qualitative research study, “Chuck her on a lie detector”: Investigating Australians’ mistrust in women’s reports of sexual assault”, explores the factors underlying this community mistrust and contributes to interrogating and debunking pervasive sexual assault myths.

To coincide with the launch of the report on Monday 1 November, ANROWS is hosting a webinar that will unpack the findings of the report and their implications for policy and practice across response services, the criminal justice system, education and the broader community.

The session will be facilitated by ANROWS CEO Padma Raman, and presenters include Kate Minter (Senior Research Officer, ANROWS, and an author of the report), Saxon Mullins (Director of Advocacy, Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy), Dr Emma Partridge (Manager, Policy and Evidence, Our Watch), Meena Singh (Senior Advisor, Human Rights Law Centre), and Heather Clarke (former manager of the Northern Centre against Sexual Assault, and current board member of the National Association of Services against Sexual Assault).

The webinar is open to all, and free to attend. Live captioning will be available, and there will be a live Q&A. A recording of the webinar will be made available on the ANROWS website following the event.

For more information, and to register, please visit the ANROWS website.




COVID-19 and the “shadow pandemic”

ANROWS recently hosted a webinar, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic and family violence”, to coincide with the launch of the research report led by the AIC (discussed above).

The webinar unpacked the findings of the study and its implications on future phases of the pandemic. An expert panel explored how services across the DFV, police, health and legal sectors responded during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and reflected on lessons learned as we approach the end of the second year of the pandemic. The panel also addressed the impact of the pandemic on children living with domestic and family violence.

You can watch the webinar through the ANROWS website, and explore our full webinar program, covering topics including coercive control, safety in the Family Court, the role of Law and Culture in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, women’s economic insecurity, and gambling and intimate partner violence.



Opportunities and events


ANROWS is seeking an Evaluation Manager to provide strategic leadership and oversight of ANROWS’s evaluation endeavours; support the design, delivery and evaluation of its programs; and lead the development and implementation of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) frameworks, proactively identifying and applying contemporary practice and continuous improvement initiatives in the domestic, family and sexual violence sector.

This is a 0.6 FTE position (22.5 hours per week), reporting to the chief executive officer, and is located at the ANROWS national office in Sydney. The appointment is for a fixed term from commencement until 31 December 2022.

For more information, and to apply, please visit the Careers page of the ANROWS website. Applications close at midnight on Sunday 24 October.




The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has been commissioned by ANROWS to undertake research in relation to the compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders. The research will involve multiple studies, including a survey of parents and carers.

Parents or carers who have had family law parenting orders made in the past five years are invited to participate in this survey. We also encourage you to share this information with your client base if you feel that it would be of interest to them.

This research will help us to understand whether parents comply with parenting orders, how the enforcement process in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) operates, and how well it works. The survey is open to those residing in all states and territories bar Western Australia. For more information on the project, please visit the AIFS website. This survey closes on Wednesday 20 October 2021.





“For many Australians the complexities of identity and belonging remain and embracing a rich cultural heritage within contemporary Australia is not always easy or even possible.”

This year’s Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture, “Embracing Cultural Diversity in Australia”, will be delivered by author, journalist, lawyer and educator Alice Pung, and followed by a panel discussion reflecting on the theme. Alice will be joined for the panel discussion by activist and social entrepreneur Kupakwashe Matangira and human rights lawyer and community advocate Zaahir Edries, and brief remarks will be delivered by the EU Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Dr Michael Pulch, and Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan.

The lecture is held by the Australian Human Rights Commission, and is taking place from 12:00 to 1:30 pm on Friday 29 October.


New research and resources

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



Atkin, J., Albury, K., Henley, A.-M., McKee, A., Cahill, H., Keane, O., Henderson, K. (Presenters), & Robinson, M., (Facilitator). (2021, June 21). Webinar: “Sex Ed”: Young people, consent and the Australian curriculum [Webinar]. ANROWS. https://www.anrows.org.au/event/webinar-sex-ed-young-people-consent-and-the-australian-curriculum/



Books and reports

Fitz-Gibbon, K., Douglas, H., & Maher, J. M. (2021). Young people using family violence: International perspectives on research, responses and reforms. Springer Nature. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=u0gtEAAAQBAJ

Johnson, S. (2021). Evaluation design: Families and children expert panel project (Expert Panel Project resource – June 2021). AIFS: CFCA. https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/expert-panel-project/evaluation-design 




Bartlett, S., Mathews, B., & Tippett, V. (2021). Paramedics encounters with children exposed to domestic violence: Identifying and overcoming barriers to sound responses. International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practicehttps://doi.org/10.1007/s42448-021-00091-9 

Brown, C., Sanci, L., & Hegarty, K. (2021). Technology-facilitated abuse in relationships: Victimisation patterns and impact in young people.  ihttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.106897  

Hui, M., & Maddern, R. (2021). Children’s perceptions of their parents in the context of domestic violence: A qualitative synthesis. Child Abuse & Neglect, 122. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105343  

Loney-Howes, R., MacPhail, C., Hanley, N., & Fabrianesi, B. (2021). Youth attitudes to domestic and family violence: A scoping review of young people’s attitudes and perceptions in Australia. Trauma, Violence, & Abusehttps://doi.org/10.1177/15248380211036054 

Peck, A., Hutchinson, M., & Provost, S. (2021). Young people who engage in child to parent violence: An integrative review of correlates and developmental pathways. Australian Journal of Psychology, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049530.2021.1936637

Schubert, E. C. (2021). Supporting children who experience domestic violence: Evaluating the child witness to domestic violence program. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605211035874  

Turnbull-Roberts, V., Salter, M., & Newton, B. J. (2021). Trauma then and now: Implications of adoption reform for First Nations children. Child & Family Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12865

​In the media

Aboriginal health experts want more done to tackle suicide of young people in the Kimberley—ABC News

Children as young as 13 served with domestic violence orders in Queensland—ABC News

More than 300 teens in state care turned 18 in lockdown, forced to leave home—SMH

Young people want governments & social media giants to do more on gender-based online harassment—Women’s Agenda

NSW to spend big on social housing as state records 319 COVID-19 cases and two deaths—ABC News

Landmark investment to help more women and children fleeing domestic violence—NSW Department of Communities and Justice [Media release]

New payment to help women escape violent relationships—Australian Government Department of Social Services [Media release]

Contribute to Notepad

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