Talking about domestic violence
ANROWS Notepad | 30 June 2022
HOW YOUNG AUSTRALIANS CONCEPTUALISE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE
Talking directly with young people
The new ANROWS report “It depends on what the definition of domestic violence is”: How young Australians conceptualise domestic violence and abuse was recently launched at one of our most highly attended webinars, facilitated by Deanne Carson (CEO) and Lauren French (Lead Educator) from Body Safety Australia.
The research follows on from the 2017 National Community Attitudes Survey (NCAS) which revealed some areas of concern in young people’s understandings of domestic violence. For example, the NCAS found that young people (aged 16 to 24 years) have become less likely to recognise that women experience more harm and fear from domestic violence than men. To better understand these results, the current study aimed to explore how young people define and make sense of domestic violence.
The webinar launching the report provided a unique opportunity for an audience of more than 600 people to hear directly from a panel of youth advocates from R4Respect, Men4Respect and the Wellbeing Health & Youth Commission. Throughout the event the youth advocates openly reflected on their own, and their peers’, understandings of domestic violence, and what solutions are needed to improve education and ensure young people can be agents for bringing about positive generational change.
Dr Erin Carlisle, a panellist and one of the authors of the report, emphasised that young people are a key group for domestic violence prevention.
If young people are agents of change for the prevention of domestic violence and violence against women broadly, then we need to design initiatives and programs in their language and to address their wants and needs. So, there is a need to explore what young people understand and how they come to these understandings on their own terms.
Digital illustrator Tatum Kenna (Digital Storytellers) captured this and other perspectives shared in the webinar, and a series of videos unpacking the research findings, co-designed with – and featuring – a group of young people, were also shown during the event.
The first video unpacked the research finding that young people were critical of the media’s sensationalised representations of extreme instances of domestic violence which perpetuate the idea that domestic violence is “far away” or disconnected from real life. Reflecting on the video, Youth Commissioner Jean Lewis spoke about wanting to look away from the extreme cases of violence represented in the media in her community, calling them
really confronting. I live in Blacktown and the rates of domestic violence are really high here … as a young person I try not to look into those things as it’s really upsetting.
Zac Tuialii (Men4Respect Youth Ambassador) echoed a finding of the report that addressed the need for clearer terminology when discussing domestic violence.
When young people hear “domestic violence” they focus solely on “violence”, which to them is just physical violence. By adding the word “abuse” at the end, it helps them to understand that there are non-physical factors in that same space.
The youth advocates also spoke about the concerning normalisation and glorification of toxic and unhealthy relationship behaviours on social media, and the recent amplification of the stereotype that women lie about violence in media coverage of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial.
The report, finding that many young people rejected the gendered nature of domestic violence and perceived men to be unfairly portrayed as the main perpetrators, also recommended that young people receive education that challenges gender norms and highlights gendered, structural and intersecting inequalities. When asked what is needed to improve respectful relationships education, R4Respect Youth Ambassador Alesha Saeed said:
It’s always more funding: with more funding you can do more things, reach more schools.
The panellists, and the report recommendations, also emphasised the importance of encouraging conversations that reinforce everyone’s stake in preventing violence against women. Jean said:
We appreciate when organisations meaningfully engage with young people and give us a platform to preserve, protect and promote our voices.
Many conversations about the webinar unfolded in real time on Twitter, and more formal feedback provided following the webinar was overwhelmingly positive:
Covered a lot of areas. Great to actually have young people talking about young people’s perspectives, rather than just older academics.
Listening to younger peoples’ views for a change was so informative.
I think hearing directly from young people is just so vital – it was great to hear their perspectives. Really liked hearing the research first and then centering the young people after that.
The report, a recording of the webinar, all three videos, and further resources related to the project can be found on our “Talking about domestic violence” hub.
2022 AIFS CONFERENCE
ANROWS evidence on the national stage
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) conference is a well-attended national conference that places families at the centre. This year – at AIFS’ first in-person conference since 2019, held in Melbourne from 15 to 17 June – ANROWS evidence was front and centre. Alongside researchers talking about their ANROWS-funded projects in a variety of sessions, our Director, Evidence to Action, Michele Robinson, facilitated a symposium on the final day of the conference entitled, “Reviewing the family law system through a domestic and family violence-informed lens”.
Presenting indicative findings from their soon-to-be-published final report from the “Compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders” project, Dr Rae Kaspiew and Dr Rachel Carson from AIFS highlighted the need for child-centred, trauma-informed responses. Dr Jane Wangmann (University of Technology Sydney) addressed the intersection of self-representation and domestic and family violence (DFV) from her ANROWS-funded research, Exploring the impact and effect of self-representation by one or both parties in Family Law proceedings involving allegations of family violence. Dr Wangmann emphasised the continuing importance of a domestic and violence informed lens in family law matters. Professor Robyn Carrol and Rachel Moody from the University of Western Australia highlighted that the practice of applying a DFV-informed lens to property disputes has lagged behind other family violence reform but is crucial to provide a suitable and safe response to women and children experiencing DFV.
The conference was a great opportunity to hear research and insights, and have conversations with policymakers, researchers, practitioners, judges and thought leaders. One session that attracted a full house (with overflow) was the opening address by the new Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP. Minister Rishworth, herself a working mother with two young children, took the time to outline her commitment to the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–32 and its aim to reduce, address and ultimately end violence against women and children. The Minister spoke about the need to bring government and non-government organisations together in a joined-up system across the areas that make up her new portfolio, including child protection, disability, and women’s safety. She emphasised to conference attendees that she was “up for the challenge” that her diverse portfolio represents. Like many stakeholders in the room on the day, ANROWS looks forward to working with Minister Rishworth to deliver on the aims of the next National Plan.
ANROWS PEER TAKES HOME SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL PRIZE
Tanya Modini wins Dendy and Rouben Mamoulian awards for short film
On the closing night of the 2022 Sydney Film Festival, Tanya Modini, a member of the research team behind the ANROWS report Accurately identifying the “person most in need of protection” in domestic and family violence law, won two awards for her short film, The Moths Will Eat Them Up. The film (directed by Ms Modini and Luisa Martiri) follows a woman making her way home on what should be a quotidian journey but becomes, instead, a dark pursuit. On Sunday 19 June, the film won the Dendy Award for Best Live Action Short and the Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director.
In her director’s statement, Ms Modini said:
The Moths Will Eat Them Up is a psychological thriller that exposes the terror of gendered violence against women and the repeated risk assessments women must make just to get through their day. It also explores how some men choose to just be bystanders – ignoring other men’s violence as “none of their business”. The themes of hope and collective strength also emerge, seen metaphorically in the story as an omnipresent collective women’s spirit of protection and justice.
The film is currently making its way around the country as part of the Sydney Film Festival Travelling Film Festival. Locations, dates and tickets are available through the film festival’s website. ANROWS congratulates Ms Modini, Ms Martiri and all involved in the film on their great success!
PEAKCARE AWARDS 2022
ANROWS congratulates award-winning researchers
ANROWS is pleased to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of our colleagues at the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP), which were recognised at the recent PeakCare awards.
Winners of the Woke Award were the authors of New ways for our families: Designing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practice framework and system responses to address the impacts of domestic and family violence on children and young people – an ANROWS report produced in collaboration between QATSICPP and the ACU’s Institute of Child Protection Studies.
For this research, a team of First Nations researchers, supported by non-Indigenous researchers, utilised a participatory action research methodology, ensuring cultural safety and adherence to cultural values and protocols – including co-creation of knowledge – to identify non-statutory pathways for First Nations children who have experienced domestic and family violence. A second report from this team will be published later in 2022, accompanied by a practice framework to support practitioners to embed the learnings from the project.
Additionally, Candice Butler, Director of Innovation and Practice Development at QATSICPP and a member of the research team, was recognised for her work promoting self-determination by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Congratulations Candice and the whole team for this well-deserved recognition! You can find out more about the awards on the PeakCare Queensland website.
AIC OCCASIONAL SEMINAR SERIES 2022
ANROWS research the focus of two recent CriminologyTV videos
In early 2022, ANROWS released the findings of a research project, conducted by Anthony Morgan and Dr Hayley Boxall of the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), examining the relationship between economic insecurity and intimate partner violence in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. (The report, Economic insecurity and intimate partner violence in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be accessed via the ANROWS website.)
With Australians currently experiencing a sharp rise in costs of living, the findings of the report – and the need to renew our focus on the nexus between women’s safety and women’s economic security – remain particularly relevant. The AIC’s Anthony Morgan recently discussed these findings on an episode of CriminologyTV: watch it through YouTube and subscribe to the channel, where you can also see Dr Boxall discuss another ANROWS research report, The “Pathways to intimate partner homicide” project: Key stages and events in male-perpetrated intimate partner homicide in Australia.
2022 ANROWS CONFERENCE RECAP
Catch up on the 2022 ANROWS Conference!
Did you miss out on the ANROWS national research conference, “On the agenda: Evidence to inform contemporary policy priorities addressing violence against women”, earlier this year, or would you like to revisit the presentations and workshops?
A conference communique summarising the presentations and outcomes from the workshops led by our partner organisations is now available.
The communique includes a great collection of resources speaking to the six themes of the conference: intimate partner homicide, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing, believing women, justice and the law, data and measurement, and children and young people.
Conference delegates can also still sign into the conference website to catch up on Evidence Presentations they missed – or rewatch presentations they loved. For those who didn’t register for our conference, the most popular conference presentation was also revisited in our recent webinar, “What we know about intimate partner homicide”, and is now publicly available through the ANROWS website.
Did you know?
Making submissions to key government inquiries is one knowledge translation activity regularly undertaken by ANROWS. This submission on improving young people’s understanding of gender-based violence and the beliefs and attitudes that drive this behaviour was provided to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority in July 2021.
CLOSING SOON: FUTURE-PROOFING SAFETY: COVID-19 AND FAMILY VIOLENCE IN VICTORIA
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is inviting individuals who work in family violence or other related services (such as legal and family services) in Victoria to share their experiences of how their client service needs changed and how their services adapted to meet these changing needs during COVID-19. The survey is accessible through the AIFS website.
SURVEY: ACCESSING DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE SUPPORT DURING COVID-19
Dr Naomi Pfitzner and Dr Jasmine McGowan, both of Monash University, are conducting a research project designed to help improve family violence service responses during future emergencies. They are looking for respondents to participate in a 10- to 20-minute anonymous survey, which asks a series of questions about experiences of accessing DFV services during the COVID-19 lockdowns. You can take the survey through Qualtrics.
SURVEY: EXPLORING PRACTITIONERS’ VIEWS ON DISCUSSING INTIMATE PARTNER SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN DFV PERPETRATOR INTERVENTIONS
Do you have experience as a partner contact worker in the DFV perpetrator intervention space? Dr Nicola Helps, from the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, is seeking practitioners for a survey on responding to intimate partner sexual violence in DFV perpetrator interventions. The survey, which takes approximately 25 minutes to complete, is designed to capture practitioners’ views and experiences of training; screening and risk assessment practices; and practice experience in discussing sex, intimacy, and intimate partner sexual violence in perpetrator intervention contexts. The survey is available through Qualtrics.
SEMINAR: FORCED MARRIAGE AS A FORM OF FAMILY VIOLENCE IN VICTORIA
For the latest in the 2022 MGFVPC Seminar Series, Dr Shih Joo Tan (Siru) will draw on preliminary research with Victorian family violence and forced marriage service providers to explore opportunities and shifts that have resulted since March 2019, when the 2018 amendment to the Family Violence Prevention Act 2008 (Vic) – which saw forced marriage and dowry-related abuse included as statutory examples of family violence – came into effect. The seminar will take place at 9:00am on Wednesday 13 July, and you can register through Eventbrite.
ARE YOU A SECTOR WORKER WHO HAS ASSISTED VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS WITH A “BIKIE” PERPETRATOR?
Dr Bridget Harris, Deputy Director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, is looking to interview practitioners working with victims and survivors – across domestic and family violence, social work, counselling, justice, law and housing – where the perpetrator is a “bikie” (part of an outlaw motorcycle gang or affiliated with organised crime). The interviews would form part of a project seeking to enhance support and develop resources for victims and survivors, advocates and practitioners. For more information, please contact Dr Harris.
WORK WITH ANROWS
We are currently seeking a Senior Research Officer (What Works) to take a leadership role in ANROWS’s Research and Evaluation Program. This team is working to increase policymakers’ and practitioners’ access to evidence of effectiveness by developing a series of evidence and gap maps and an evidence portal. These resources will capture, categorise and assess impact evaluations of interventions designed to reduce and respond to violence against women. Applications close at midnight on Sunday 3 July; for more information, and instructions on how to apply, please visit our Careers page.
New research and resources
This edition of Notepad includes several new publications co-authored by Professor Kelsey Hegarty across the topics of intimate partner violence and sexual violence. Professor Hegarty is the project lead on the current ANROWS Fourth Action Plan research project titled Transforming responses to intimate partner and sexual violence: Listening to the voices of victims, perpetrators and services.
In addition, Dr Carol Orr co-authored a paper on the school outcomes of children exposed to family and domestic violence. Dr Orr is the project lead on the current ANROWS Core research project titled Investigating the mental health of children exposed to domestic and family violence through the use of linked police and health records due to be published next month.
Do violent teens become violent adults? Links between juvenile and adult domestic & family violence—AIC webinar
Exploring the relationship between economic insecurity and intimate partner violence—AIC webinar
Trust, Safety and Participation Practice Guide—Australian Childhood Foundation
Books and reports
Afrouz, R., & Crisp, B. R. (2022). Anti-oppressive practice in social work with women wearing hijab. In H. Schmid & A. Sheikhzadegan (Eds.), Exploring Islamic social work: Between community and the common good (pp. 203–218). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-95880-0_12
Campbell, A., Baxter, J., Kuskoff, E., Forder, P. M., & Loxton, D. (2022). Cumulative violence and young women’s unfreedom (Life Course Centre Working Paper Series, No. 2022-09, April 2022). Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland. https://lifecoursecentre.org.au/working-papers/cumulative-violence-and-young-womens-unfreedom/
Howard, M., Wei, Z., Zhang, Y., & Corben, S. (2022). Actuarial assessment of domestic violence recidivism risk among custody-based males: The Domestic Violence – Triage Risk Assessment Scale (DV-TRAS) (Research Bulletin No. 53). Corrective Services NSW. https://correctiveservices.dcj.nsw.gov.au/csnsw-home/resources/research-and-reports/corrections-research-evaluation-and-statistics/research-bulletin.html
Moulds, S., & Yohanesh, S. R. (2022). Powerful interventions: Improving the use and enforcement of intervention orders as a tool to address family and domestic violence in South Australia – Final report. Rights Resource Network SA. https://www.rightsnetworksa.com/_files/ugd/8cf77c_bcc168e3171a46c48efd0aac455df0b0.pdf
Nelson, C. (2021). “They thought it was safe – but it wasn’t.” Recognising children’s rights as a means of securing children’s safety in Australia’s family law system. Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University. https://doi.org/10.26183/v764-8h58
New South Wales Auditor-General. (2022). Police responses to domestic and family violence. Audit Office of New South Wales. https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/our-work/reports/police-responses-to-domestic-and-family-violence
Ramsey, S., Kim, M.-T., & Fitzgerald, J. (2022). Trends in domestic violence-related stalking and intimidation offences in the criminal justice system: 2012 to 2021 (Bureau Brief No. BB159). BOCSAR. https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Pages/bocsar_publication/Pub_Summary/BB/BB159-DV-related-stalking.aspx
Burrell, S. R. (2018). The contradictory possibilities of engaging men and boys in the prevention of men’s violence against women in the UK. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 2(3), 447–464. https://doi.org/10.1332/239868018×15375304850617
FitzPatrick, K. M., Brown, S., Hegarty, K., Mensah, F., & Gartland, D. (2022). Visualising patterns in women’s experiences of intimate partner violence in the first 10 years of motherhood. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605221104518
Gartland, D., Hegarty, K., Papadopoullos, S., & Brown, S. (2022). Patterns of health service utilisation of mothers experiencing mental health problems and intimate partner violence: Ten-year follow-up of an Australian prospective mother and child cohort. PLOS ONE, 17(6), e0269626. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269626
Kelly, P., Field, M., Payne, R., & Giallo, R. (2022). Examining a rural Victorian community’s knowledge and help seeking behaviour for family violence and the role of the local public health service. Australian Journal of Rural Health. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.12887
Malvaso, C., Day, A., Cale, J., Hackett, L., Delfabbro, P., & Ross, S. (2022). Adverse childhood experiences and trauma among young people in the youth justice system. Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice (No. 651). https://doi.org/10.52922/ti78610
Masterton, G., Rathus, Z., Flood, J., & Tranter, K. (2022). Being “Hagued”: How weaponising the Hague Convention harms women, family and domestic violence survivors. Centre for Justice Briefing Paper, May 2022(25). https://research.qut.edu.au/centre-for-justice/wp-content/uploads/sites/304/2022/05/Briefing-Paper-25-Masterton-FINAL.pdf
McLachlan, F., & Harris, B. (2022). Intimate risks: Examining online and offline abuse, homicide flags, and femicide. Victims & Offenders, 17(5), 623–646. https://doi.org/10.1080/15564886.2022.2036658
Miles-Johnson, T., & Ball, M. (2022). Police prosecutors and LGBTIQ intimate partner violence, victims, and perpetrators: An empirical study. SN Social Sciences, 2(6), 84. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43545-022-00382-z
Orr, C., Fisher, C., Bell, M., O’Donnell, M., Martin, K., Glauert, R., & Preen, D. (2022). Exposure to family and domestic violence is associated with lower attendance and higher suspension in school children. Child Abuse & Neglect. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2022.105594
Rodgers, J., Carrington, K., Ryan, V., & Carr, R. (2022). Evaluation of a specialist domestic violence worker embedded in a police station. Centre for Justice Briefing Paper, May 2022(23). https://research.qut.edu.au/centre-for-justice/wp-content/uploads/sites/304/2022/05/Briefing-Paper-23-Toowoomba-co-location-FINAL.pdf
Tarzia, L., & Hegarty, K. (2022). “He’d tell me I was frigid and ugly and force me to have sex with him anyway”: Women’s experiences of co-occurring sexual violence and psychological abuse in heterosexual relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605221090563
In the media
Inquiry into sexual assaults and harassment in WA’s FIFO industry urges reporting overhaul, training—ABC News
New Gen Z campaign to help tackle online abuse–eSafety Commissioner
Reimagining welfare to mitigate violence against women—Power to Persuade
Respect at Work Taskforce—SafeWork NSW
Significant rise in domestic-violence related stalking and intimidation in NSW—BOCSAR
Submissions to Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce reveal systemic and community failure—ABC News
Interview with Jess Hill on her Diversity Council address about domestic abuse—SBS News
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