New research supports the evidence base to improve responses to violence
ANROWS Notepad | 14 September 2022
SHOCKING NEW FINDINGS EMERGE FROM ANROWS RESEARCH
New evidence lends further weight to calls for action to improve responses to violence
Research sometimes provides an evidence base for what many already know or understand. This research still has an important role to play. The ability to produce tangible evidence of people’s experiences of violence is often one of the most critical challenges in taking the issue seriously.
The response to findings from four recently released ANROWS research reports suggests that the need for this kind of evidence has never been greater – nor has the desire to use it to inform improved responses.
Two reports, stemming from a project examining the extent and nature of and responses to technology-facilitated abuse (TFA), showed that 1 in 2 Australians have been victims of this kind of abuse in their lifetime. Despite being in Melbourne hosting a UNFPA delegation from Vietnam on the day of the reports’ release, our CEO Padma Raman PSM acknowledged their release with a live appearance on ABC News Breakfast television.
During the webinar that launched the reports, lead researcher, Associate Professor Asher Flynn, unpacked the research findings, highlighting the differences in the ways that women and men experienced the abuse. Panellist Ela Stewart from InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence nuanced the gendered nature of technology-facilitated abuse with the added layers of complexity this abuse can cause for women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, and Joanne Yates from No to Violence emphasised the connection between technology-facilitated abuse and other forms of domestic and family violence.
A third report, A life course approach to determining the prevalence and impact of sexual violence in Australia: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, found that 1 in 2 women in their twenties have experienced sexual violence. Regardless of the cohort (twenties, forties, or sixties and seventies), the prevalence of sexual violence women experienced is higher than other national studies have reported. This is the first national study to take a longitudinal approach to understand better the prevalence and impacts of sexual violence across women’s lifetimes.
Talk alone is never enough, but the fact that this research reached diverse mainstream audiences across national news outlets, including television and radio, reflects a changing national conversation and an increased willingness to engage more closely in discussions about sexual violence and its financial, physical and mental health impacts. It is also significant to look at who is being encouraged to talk about sexual violence in this instance, with Ms Raman speaking across multiple media outlets about these findings, including ABC Radio National, World Today and News 24, and pieces on the research findings running in Crikey and publications targeting youth and mainstream male audiences, like Junkee (featured on Facebook and Instagram) and Triple J Hack.
Beyond the heartbreaking statistics were also clear and powerful findings about what helps women heal and recover in the aftermath of sexual violence. These included accessible healthcare services, especially mental healthcare, and strong social support.
The fourth report, published last week, engaged directly with more than 5,000 young people (aged 16 to 20) in Australia, and found that 1 in 5 have used adolescent family violence (AFV). Adolescent family violence in Australia: A national study of prevalence, history of childhood victimisation and impacts also found that 89 per cent of these young people had experienced violence themselves. Pieces in The Conversation and the Canberra Times reinforced the need, outlined in the report, to understand AFV “as part of intergenerational experiences of family violence” and “to view children and young people as victim-survivors in their own right when trying to understand and respond to their use of family violence”.
We have evidence outlining the magnitude of the problems of sexual violence, TFA and AFV. It’s now time to start implementing responses that prevent these kinds of violence from happening and investing in the services that support children’s and women’s healing and recovery. At ANROWS, we look forward to continuing to work on the evidence base to better understand what helps keep women and children safe from violence and helps their recovery.
ANROWS WELCOMES NEW DIRECTOR
Dr Jane Lloyd joins ANROWS to oversee our research program
We welcomed Dr Jane Lloyd, our new Director, Research and Evaluation, to ANROWS in early August. Jane has more than 20 years’ experience researching and directing programs in the areas of health and social justice. She is an experienced researcher with hands-on experience in leadership and management, and is passionate about delivering results and impact.
Jane’s ability to direct applied and policy-relevant research stems from working in academia and government. Previously, Jane was the Director of the Health Equity Research and Development Unit that had dual accountability to Sydney Local Health District and the University of New South Wales Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity. From 2011 to 2015, Jane held a National Health and Medical Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship. Jane has held roles in the NSW Department of Education and NSW Health, including the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network.
Jane is committed to listening carefully to the voice of victims and survivors, policy leaders and academics, and we look forward to working under her expert direction as we continue to shape the national research agenda and move into the next National Plan.
Gary Sillett has also recently joined us as Director, Corporate Operations – welcome, Jane and Gary.
CLOSING SOON: MIGRANT AND REFUGEE WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES IN THE WORKPLACE
Monash University (MGFVPC) and Harmony Alliance, in partnership with ANROWS, are conducting a national study on migrant and refugee women’s experiences in the workplace. The first part of this study is a national survey, open until the end of August.
The survey is open to anyone living in Australia over the age of 18 years old who identifies as a woman from a migrant or refugee background. It is available in six languages (Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Swahili, Simplified Chinese and English) and should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential.
Findings from the survey will inform better targeted workplace responses and support for migrant and refugee women. The survey is run through Qualtrics.
NEVER WASTE A CRISIS: DFV RESPONSES DURING COVID-19
At 1:00pm on Monday 26 September, Michele Robinson – ANROWS’s Director, Evidence to Action – will be speaking as part of a panel addressing responses to domestic and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosted by MAEVe (Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children), the panel discussion will focus on the work ANROWS did with the University of Melbourne as part of the international DAHLIA-19 research study, as well as research conducted by the Muslim Women Australia Association.
For more information, and to register, visit Eventbrite.
HOW CAN AUSTRALIAN BANKS BETTER SUPPORT PEOPLE EXPERIENCING ECONOMIC ABUSE?
Researchers at the School of Sciences, UNSW are conducting a study on how Australian banks use their websites to communicate information on economic abuse. They are looking to interview employees in both Australian banks and organisations that respond to economic abuse, and are seeking to understand how banks can use their websites to better support victims and survivors of economic abuse in the context of intimate partner violence.
For more information and/or to participate in the study, please email Ariadne Sofianidis.
SAFER FAMILIES “BETTER MAN” PROJECT
Do you work with men who might be concerned about their behaviour in their intimate partner relationship? The Safer Families Centre is seeking men between the age of 18 and 50 to check out a healthy relationships website and complete a few short surveys over a six-month period. The website and surveys are fully confidential, and participants could gain knowledge on how to improve their relationship with their partner and seek help for their behaviour.
For more information, please visit the Safer Families website and contact a team member on +61 3 9035 4018.
EARLY CAREER RESEARCH SMALL GRANTS SCHEME
As part of its Early Career Research Small Grants Scheme, each year the Herbert and Valmae Frielich Project for the Study of Bigotry offers up to three grants worth $5,000 for emerging scholars. Applications are now open for projects beginning in January 2023; for more information and to apply, visit the Freilich Project website.
New research and resources
This edition of Notepad features a range of new Australian research across the topic areas of sexual harassment, image-based sexual abuse, legal responses and health.
In addition, a new research article has been published drawing on the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) data. The research finds that women with a history of IPV have much higher lifetime health costs per person (A$48,314) than women who do not experience IPV (William et al., 2022, p.1). The research draws on the same ALSWH data as the ANROWS report A life course approach to determining the prevalence and impact of sexual violence in Australia: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (above), and provides a sophisticated understanding of the extent of the effects of IPV on women in Australia.
Coercive control poster, pocket guide and translations in eight community languages—Newcastle Domestic Violence Committee
Books and reports
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). National sexual violence responses.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Family, domestic and sexual violence: National data landscape 2022.
Cullen-Rosenthal, E., & Fileborn, B. (2022). “Merely a compliment”? Community perceptions of street harassment in Melbourne, Australia. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.2218
Henry, N., Gavey, N., McGlynn, C., & Rackley, E. (2022). “Devastating, like it broke me”: Responding to image-based sexual abuse in Aotearoa New Zealand. Criminology & Criminal Justice. https://doi.org/10.1177/17488958221097276
Kuskoff, E., Clarke, A., & Parsell, C. (2022). Governing through (an exclusive) community: Limitations of state conceptualisations of “the community” in domestic violence policies. Social Policy and Society, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1474746422000495
Masterton, G., Rathus, Z., Flood, J., & Tranter, K. (2022). Dislocated lives: The experience of women survivors of family and domestic violence after being “Hagued”. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2022.2102765
Tarrant, S. (2022). Making no-case submissions in self-defence claims for primary victims of intimate partner violence charged with criminal offending. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/10345329.2022.2109247
William, J., Loong, B., Hanna, D., Parkinson, B., & Loxton, D. (2022). Lifetime health costs of intimate partner violence: A prospective longitudinal cohort study with linked data for out-of-hospital and pharmaceutical costs. Economic Modelling. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econmod.2022.106013
In the media
12 per cent of female frontline workers sexually harassed during pandemic—Women’s Agenda
Grants now open to support diverse communities respond to domestic, family and sexual violence—Queensland Government
“Helpfulness is not only the physical things you do for people; you can be emotionally there”—the Guardian
Workplaces have the power to help end family and domestic violence—Women’s Agenda
How coercive control laws could impact First Nations women—2ser 107.3
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