Research tackling sexual violence now underway
ANROWS Notepad | 24 March 2022
2021–2024 ANROWS SEXUAL HARASSMENT RESEARCH PROGRAM
Five new ANROWS projects to focus on sexual harassment in the workplace
ANROWS recently announced details of the five projects funded under its 2021–2024 Sexual Harassment Research Program (SHRP). Sexual harassment exists on a continuum with sexual violence, and together they form a key priority identified in Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANRA) 2020–2022. To improve women’s safety and economic security, it is critical that we address this pervasive form of violence.
The SHRP provides ANROWS with a unique opportunity to work with eminent researchers and key stakeholders both within and beyond the DFV sector. Bringing experts together from across sectors, the projects making up the SHRP will examine the nature, impacts and appropriateness of existing responses to sexual harassment; the risk and protective factors associated with workplace sexual harassment; and the effectiveness of existing strategies for prevention and response.
Work on the projects is now underway. A team of researchers from the schools of business and political economy at the University of Sydney, many of whom are also working on the University of Sydney’s Gender Equality in Working Life research initiative, are investigating sexual harassment in the retail sector. Retail workers make up 11 per cent of the Australian workforce population and are a diverse group, with many particularly vulnerable to – and thus more likely to experience – sexual and gender-based harassment at work.
A team from Monash University, led by Associate Professor Marie Segrave of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, are embarking upon a project that will illuminate migrant and refugee women’s attitudes to, and experiences of, workplace sexual harassment. This is vital work for many reasons: this population has historically been overlooked in research, which often fails to ask the right questions in the right languages; there is currently a paucity of data relating to migrant and refugee women’s experiences; and rigid stereotypes about victims and survivors in these populations persist, leading to misunderstandings and discrimination.
Another of the projects in the SHRP will explore the specific drivers of workplace technology-facilitated sexual harassment (WTFSH) and the characteristics of perpetrators of this harassment. Led by Associate Professors Asher Flynn and Anastasia Powell, the project will incorporate a national survey of WTFSH perpetrators, generating new evidence and understanding of this kind of perpetration for policymakers and other stakeholders. This is timely work – the eSafety Commissioner’s recently released Women in the Spotlight report found that in 2020–21, one in three women experienced online abuse, including harassment, doxing and trolling, in a work context, most often on social media.
ANROWS has been commissioned, as part of the research program, to undertake an evaluation of the Respect@Work Council, which was established as part of the Australian Government’s response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces. The insights gained from the evaluation will enable the council to improve its operations and provide learnings about the effectiveness of cross-sector coordinating mechanisms like it.
The final project in the program will investigate sexual harassment experienced by LGBTQ young people in the workplace, expanding on the current literature to also incorporate workplace training sites. Led by Professor Kerry Robinson of the University of Western Sydney, the team has extensive experience in working with LGBTQ populations and younger populations (the project will draw on the experiences of young people aged 14 to 30), and in translating the knowledge gained from this work. Once again, this research is coming at a crucial moment: the results of the 2021 National Student Safety Survey (NSSS), released yesterday, show that female university students (62.9%), transgender students (62.8%) and non-binary students or those who identified as another gender (76.8%) were more likely than male students (26%) to have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime. ABS data from 2021 show that 41.6% of students were employed part-time while studying, and 32.3% were employed full-time, suggesting that some of these lifetime experiences may have occurred in the workplace. The quantitative report based on the NSSS findings noted that some victims and survivors sought support from their workplaces following sexual harassment that took place in a university context.
With a productive round of initial meetings now completed, ANROWS looks forward to working with the research teams on the further development of these impressive and impactful projects.
NEW RESEARCH: RECONNECTING MOTHERS AND CHILDREN AFTER DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE
RECOVER: An Australian-first pilot study
A recently published ANROWS research report, led by Associate Professor Leesa Hooker (La Trobe University), explores the service gaps in Australia’s mental healthcare system, in response to the needs of very young children impacted by trauma and harm being overlooked.
RECOVER – Reconnecting mothers and children after family violence: The child–parent psychotherapy model presents findings from a pilot evaluation project examining the effectiveness of a therapeutic model, called child–parent psychotherapy (CPP), designed for young children and their mothers affected by intimate partner violence (IPV).
This research highlights the critical need, in children’s recovery from trauma, to re-establish a mother’s emotional connection to her child. The researchers found that there was increased parental warmth, improved child emotions and behaviours, and an apparent decrease in family violence post-CPP intervention. This is a promising result for policymakers and practitioners looking for ways to heal the trauma of IPV.
This is the first time the program has been trialled in Australia. The study’s findings show that the CPP model could be used nationally to intervene early and prevent the long-term impacts of DFV on mothers and children. Importantly, the findings also show that further research is needed, including assessing the appropriateness of the model within diverse populations such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. New research in this area is currently underway.
“This research shows the benefits of supporting the ongoing mental health and wellbeing of children who have experienced violence,” said Padma Raman PSM, ANROWS CEO. “Children and young people are the top priority of Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANRA) 2020–2022, and the RECOVER project contributes valuable evidence to the importance and potential of holistic interventions.”
You can download the report through the ANROWS website, along with a useful practice guide capturing the key insights of the report with recommendations for policy and practice.
UPCOMING ANROWS WEBINAR
What we know about intimate partner homicide
What we know about intimate partner homicide in Australia is, overwhelmingly, what we know about intimate partner homicide offenders. Insight into victims is crucially lacking, and there is in addition an overreliance on sentencing remarks in understanding the circumstances surrounding these lethal incidents, due to the lack of quality and consistent data that can be extracted from the results of coronial inquests.
An ANROWS webinar on this topic is scheduled for 12:30–2:00pm Monday, 11 April. This webinar follows on from the 2022 ANROWS Conference Evidence Presentation on the same topic. The panellists will unpack the available data on intimate partner homicide, address the gaps in our knowledge of these homicides and discuss the need for institutional and professional accountability when it comes to preventing the intimate partner homicide deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims.
There will be a live Q&A at the end of the session, which will be facilitated by ANROWS CEO Padma Raman.
The webinar is open to anyone and free to attend. Live captioning will be available for the webinar and a recording of the webinar will be available on the ANROWS website.
ANROWS REGISTER OF ACTIVE RESEARCH
International students’ sexual and intimate partner violence experiences
Little is known about how female international students are impacted by gendered violence, or how best to support them to recover from these experiences. This population may be at higher risk of experiencing gendered violence due to a number of cultural, social and structural issues.
Led by Dr Laura Tarzia at the University of Melbourne, the “International students’ sexual and intimate partner violence experiences” project will provide new data on the nature, circumstances and impacts of sexual and intimate partner violence against female international students in Australia. By identifying risk and protective factors, exploring the experiences of victims and survivors and their support requirements, and developing best-practice responses, the project seeks to increase the safety of female international students.
Details of the project can be found in ANROWS’s Register of Active Research (RAR). The RAR contains almost 150 research projects currently underway in Australia, both ANROWS-commissioned and externally funded, that collectively address the evidence gaps outlined in ANRA. We encourage all researchers working in the domestic and family violence space to register their active research with us: submission is easy and the utility of the RAR increases with every project registered.
2022 ANROWS STAKEHOLDER SURVEY
Tell us what you think!
As we move towards the next national plan to address violence against women and children, it is important for ANROWS to know what we do well, and where we could improve.
Working together more effectively with our stakeholders will drive policy and practice change that prevents and responds to violence against women and children. By taking part in this stakeholder survey, you will help ensure ANROWS delivers the latest research evidence in the most useful and accessible formats.
The survey takes five to ten minutes to complete, and closes at 11pm on Monday 4 April.
DVNSW CONFERENCE 2022: RECONNECT, RE-ENERGISE, REDESIGN
DVNSW’s 2022 conference is being held on 12 and 13 May – live and in-person in Sydney! The theme of the conference is “Reconnect, re-energise, redesign”, and conference attendees are invited to unite to work towards creating real and positive change in the domestic and family violence landscape. Experts will cover topics including primary prevention, respectful relationships, economic abuse, practical police responses, and youth and children as victims in their own right, and additional speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
SPARKING EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE
WorkUp Queensland is offering the domestic and family violence, sexual assault and women’s health and wellbeing sector five interactive research presentations over the course of 2022.
The “SPARKing Evidence-Based Practice” series begins on Thursday 31 March with an event focusing on the ANROWS-funded project “WRAP Around Families Experiencing AVITH: Towards a Collaborative Service Response”, and drawing on findings from the earlier ANROWS PIPA project. Elena Campbell (RMIT University) will present the event, with Karen Struthers facilitating.
You can learn more about the series and register through Humanitix.
REPRESENTATIONS AND RESPONSES TO CALD WOMEN IN AUSTRALIAN DFV POLICIES
Renee Romeo, a PhD student at the University of South Australia, is conducting a study titled “Representations and responses to culturally and linguistically diverse women in domestic and family violence policies in Australia”. She is looking for research participants to share their experiences of working with CALD women experiencing violence.
Professionals currently working within the DFV sectors in South Australia and Queensland (or those who have worked in the sector at any point since 2010), who are of a non-Indigenous CALD background, are invited to interview and contribute to new research that focuses on CALD women as experts in responding to CALD women experiencing DFV.
For more information about the interviews, or to register your interest, please email Renee. Further information about the study can be found on our Register of Active Research.
WORK WITH US!
ANROWS is seeking a Project Officer (Evidence to Action) to assist the Director, Evidence to Action in the development and implementation of ANROWS’s knowledge translation and dissemination activities. This is a 1.0 FTE position (37.5 hours per week) and is located at the ANROWS national office in the Sydney CBD.
Applications close at midnight on Wednesday 30 March 2022. More information about the role, and instructions on how to apply, can be found on the ANROWS website.
New research and resources
This month we’ve added 24 new research reports and articles to the ANROWS Library. A number of researchers who have previously collaborated with ANROWS have published new research, covering diverse topics including adolescent violence in the home (AVITH), technology-facilitated abuse and image-based sexual abuse. In addition, the latest edition of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management contains news, reports and research dedicated to the topic of gender justice in disasters. A select few items have been added to the list below.
Books and reports
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Specialist homelessness services: Monthly data (Cat. no: HOU 321). https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-monthly-data/contents/about
eSafety Commissioner. (2022). Women in the spotlight: Women’s experiences with online abuse in their working lives. https://www.esafety.gov.au/research/how-online-abuse-impacts-women-working-lives
inTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence. (2022). The causes and consequences of misidentification on women from migrant and refugee communities experiencing family violence [Position paper]. https://intouch.org.au/position-paper-the-causes-and-consequences-of-misidentification-on-women-from-migrant-and-refugee-communities-experiencing-family-violence/
Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre. (2022). Prevention of financial abuse workshop: Workshop summary report. https://www.pmc.gov.au/resource-centre/office-women/release-prevention-financial-abuse-workshop-summary-report
Ollis, D., Coll, L., Harrison, L., & Johnson, B. (2022). Young people as active agents in sexuality education reform. In Pedagogies of Possibility for Negotiating Sexuality Education with Young People (pp. 11-34). Emerald Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-743-020211006
Alexander, K., Humphreys, C., Wise, S., & Zhou, A. (2022) Bringing dignity to the assessment of safety for children who live with violence. British Journal of Social Work, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab260
Douglas, H., & Walsh, T. (2022). Adolescent Family and Dating Violence and the Criminal Law Response. Journal of Family Violence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-022-00373-x
Eriksson, L., Mazerolle, P., & McPhedran, S. (2022). Giving voice to the silenced victims: A qualitative study of intimate partner femicide. Trends & Issues in crime and criminal justice (no. 645). https://doi.org/10.52922/ti78498
Harris, B., & Woodlock, D. (2022). “You can’t actually escape it”: Policing the use of technology in domestic violence in rural Australia. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 11(1), 135–148. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.2190
Heward-Belle, S., Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Tsantefski, M., & Isobe, J. (2022). Participatory practice guideline development at the intersections of domestic and family violence, mental distress and/or parental substance use. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 15, 51–65. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/ADD-12-2021-0017/full/html
Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C. & Corrales, T. (2021) Identifying the patterns of family contact for children in care. Australian Social Work, 75, 19–32. https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2021.1914696B132
Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Fogden, L., Scott., Laslett, A-M., & Tsantefski, M. (2022). KODY, an all-of-family response to co-occurring substance use and domestic violence: Protocol for a quasi-experimental intervention trial. BMC Open, 291. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-12529-x
Lamb, K., Humphreys, C., Forsdike, K., & Hegarty, K. (2022) Drawing upon the evidence to develop a multi-agency risk assessment and risk management framework for domestic violence. Journal of Gender Based Violence, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1332/239868021X16366281022699
McKibbin, G., Humphreys, C., & Halfpenny, N. (2021). Using sexual health and safety education to protect against child sexual abuse in residential care – The LINC model. Child and Family Social Work, 26, 394–403. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12821
McKibbin, G., Humphreys, C., Spiteri-Staines, A. & Tyler, M. (2021) Pathways to harmful sexual behaviour onset for children and young people: Opportunities for early intervention. Child & Youth Services Review.
Monson, K., Herrman, H., Moeller-Saxone, K., Humphreys, C., & Harvey, C. (2021). How can mental health practitioners collaborate with child welfare practitioners to improve mental health for young people in out of home care? Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 15(6), 1768–1776. https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.13118
Moretti, A. (2022). Sexual harassment in the legal profession: An analysis of the current legislative framework. Alternative Law Journal. https://doi.org/10.1177/1037969×211068915
Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., Kaur, J., Archer, F., & Spencer, C. (2022). Gendered aspects of long-term disaster resilience in Victoria, Australia. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 37(1). https://search.informit.org/doi/pdf/10.3316/informit.320611868876165
Powell, A., Scott, A. J., Flynn, A., & McCook, S. (2022). Perpetration of image-based sexual abuse: Extent, nature and correlates in a multi-country sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605211072266
Rajkhowa, A., Dhanji, S., & Kotnala, S. (2022). Perspectives on mediatised discourses about and state intervention into dowry-related abuse and intimate-partner violence among Indian migrants in Australia: Implications for health and human services. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/10428232.2022.2042928
Sardinha, L., Maheu-Giroux, M., Stöckl, H., Meyer, S. R., & García-Moreno, C. (2022). Global, regional, and national prevalence estimates of physical or sexual, or both, intimate partner violence against women in 2018. Lancet, 399(10327), 803-813. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02664-7
Savopoulos, P., Brown, S., Anderson, P. J., Gartland, D., Bryant, C., & Giallo, R. (2022). Intimate partner violence during infancy and cognitive outcomes in middle childhood: Results from an Australian community-based mother and child cohort study. Child Development. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13736
Sohrabizadeh, S., & Parkinson, D. (2022). Men’s role in violence against women in disasters: Studies in Iran and Australia. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 37(1). https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/informit.320649134818682
You can view this list of new research in the ANROWS Library along with over 10,000 records of sector-relevant resources and research.
In the media
Stop it at the Start [Campaign materials]—Australian Government
Technology investment to keep women safe [Media release]—Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, & the Hon Paul Fletcher MP
Are the voices of victim-survivors from CALD communities really heard and understood?—Monash Lens
Australians “confused” by consent—The Canberra Times
New data shows patterns which can lead to domestic violence murders—The Canberra Times
“This is an essential service”: One in three calls to NSW sexual violence hotline goes unanswered—9 News
Violence against women in politics marks “moral and ethical failure” – General Assembly President—UN News
“You can’t stop it”: In rural Australia, digital coercive control can be inescapable—The Conversation
Why are migrant domestic violence victims often misidentified as perpetrators?—SBS News In Depth
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