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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.


There is a wealth of research contained within the RAR: Explore it now!

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt, and the long-term outcomes begin to come into focus, a number of research projects are emerging that assess the impacts of extended lockdowns and changes to service provision on women and children experiencing domestic and family violence. 

This past year has also seen the proliferation of research into other emerging areas in the violence against women field – notably, technology-facilitated abuse and the experiences of DFV of children and young people in their own right.

At such a time, it is crucial that we continue to develop our understanding of how all of these pieces of research fit together, and how they can be used to build a picture of the landscape of Australian research into violence against women.

ANROWS’s Register of Active Research (RAR) has captured – and will continue to capture – the projects currently underway relating to these fields. Read about gender-based violence and help-seeking behaviours during COVID-19, and how to implement workplace domestic violence policies when home is the new work; empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and disrupting child sexual exploitation; and hate speech against women online and culturally and linguistically diverse women’s experiences of technology-facilitated violence.

The RAR also houses research that focuses on, for example, sexual violence and sexual harassment, perpetrator interventions, and policing and legal responses.

Please keep sharing the details of your research with us. Registration with the RAR is easy, and with each project added, its utility increases.

The RAR is a key monitoring mechanism for the implementation of Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANRA) 2020–2022. This agenda is due for an update in mid-2022, and the RAR will help ANROWS to determine where research gaps remain and how to most effectively fill them.


Co-occurring factors among families engaged in child protection

New ANROWS-funded research points to an overall dearth of empirical research undertaken in Australian jurisdictions about the prevalence and impacts of co-occurring or intersecting domestic and family violence (DFV), alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and mental health issues (MH). This is concerning when overseas jurisdictions (primarily the United Kingdom and United States) report high prevalence of co-occurrence of DFV, AOD and MH in families in child protection systems.

The recently launched report, led by Associate Professor Amy Conley Wright from the University of Sydney, also found that the global evidence base is marred by definitional inconsistencies; a lack of theoretical grounding; and an overreliance on the presence of DFV, AOD and MH factors to the exclusion of other interrelated variables (socioeconomic or environmental or contextual factors) and risk and protective factors.

This critical interpretive synthesis of academic and grey literature on the intersections of DFV, AOD and MH in the context of child protection will help inform the second stage of this two-stage project. This subsequent study will involve the use of the NSW Human Services Dataset, a key data asset owned by the NSW Department of Communities & Justice.


Evaluating primary prevention projects designed to stop violence against women and children before it starts

One of the five priority areas identified under Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANRA) 2020–2022 is investigating the effectiveness of primary prevention programs in changing attitudes and behaviours, including the barriers and enablers of implementation (e.g. workforce and training needs).

A new report from the Equality Institute and the Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation, recently published by ANROWS, sought to respond to that priority area through evaluating two projects in the Northern Territory, Girls Can Boys Can (GCBC) and Old Ways are Strong (OWS). The projects aimed, respectively, to create gender-equitable early childhood messaging and produce resources for distribution across Mparntwe/Alice Springs, and to challenge colonial narratives around Aboriginal relationships and gender roles.

Encouragingly, the evaluation identified that explicit messaging about violence against women and children was effective and could help reduce violence. Through participation in the evaluation, the workforce participants developed key capabilities including increased knowledge about primary prevention and understanding of the drivers and causes of VAW, as well as increased research and social media communication skills.

The evaluation also found that as a result of the community-owned and -led nature of the projects, they held cultural authority, legitimacy and appropriateness, resulting in a sense of ownership and investment from community members which contributed to their success.

You can now read the full report on the ANROWS website. A short executive summary is also available.


Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Consent Reforms) Bill 2021 passed

On 11 November 2021, the NSW Lower House passed the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Consent Reforms) Bill 2021. The bill recognises that every person has a right to choose whether to participate in a sexual activity; that consent to a sexual activity must not be presumed; and that consensual sexual activity involves ongoing and mutual communication, decision-making, and free and voluntary agreement between the persons participating in the sexual activity.

The Bill is expected to come before the Upper House in the next few days. If the Bill becomes law, the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) will be changed to specify that consent to sexual activity must be communicated by words or action, rather than assumed.

ANROWS welcomes the passing of the Bill. The ANROWS submission to the NSW Law Reform Commission on the review leading to the Bill is available through the Commission’s website.


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

ANROWS recently hosted a webinar that unpacked the findings of a new study, Chuck her on a lie detector”: Investigating Australians’ mistrust in women’s reports of sexual assault. The study revealed that a woman must meet unrealistic expectations for her report of sexual assault to be believed, while the accused man’s actions to gain or confirm consent are rarely scrutinised.

The accompanying webinar explored the implications of the study’s findings for policy and practice across response services, the criminal justice system, education and the broader community, and was facilitated by ANROWS CEO Padma Raman.

Presenters included 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 recording is now available to view on the ANROWS website.



Opportunities and events


This public lecture, hosted by Flinders University, falls on 24 November – the eve of the 2021 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. We want to talk about gendered violence, as befits the timely coincidence of the campaign and this lecture, and we also want to talk about activism and the role of social work. As social work academics, we are interested in the relationship between activism and social work; as researchers in the gender and violence field, we recognise the critical role of activism in naming and responding to violence. Activism, social work and anti-violence are, we think, indivisible parts of a whole.

The word “activism” brings to mind images of protest and placards, speeches and loudspeakers, the 1960s and 70s, Vietnam and Stonewall, Greenpeace and animal rights … and so on. What does activism look like in 2021 though? What can – and does – activism achieve? Or is activism dead?

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




Dr Bridget Harris’s (QUT) research project, “Building responses to technology-facilitated violence”, seeks to enhance support for victims and survivors of technology-facilitated abuse (TFA) and bolster responses to it.

TFA involves using technology to control and coerce and may include:

  • unwanted contact or harassment from perpetrators, such as text messages, email, social media posts and phone calls
  • use of technology to monitor or stalk a person’s movements, communications or activities
  • changing functions of devices
  • accessing online accounts without a person’s permission
  • using technology to pretend to be someone else.

If you identify as female, are over 18 years old and would like more information about the study or to participate in an interview, please contact Dr Harris (honorarium offered to eligible participants; ethics approval 2000000446).




Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Dr Naomi Pfitzner, both of Monash University, are conducting a research project investigating the availability and use of domestic and family violence leave in Australian workplaces.

The survey, which takes around 15 minutes to complete, will ask respondents a series of questions about their experiences of accessing domestic and family violence lave and the support provided by their workplaces.

For more information, and to take the survey, please visit the Monash website.




A research team from the University of Tasmania is currently looking to gain the insights of mental health practitioners around Australia to better understand the assessment measures used when working with survivors of sexual assault.

This research is being conducted by Lucinda Hinckfuss in partial fulfilment of a Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Tasmania, under the supervision of Prof Kimberley Norris from the School of Psychological Sciences.

Specifically, the researchers are seeking treatment providers’ information about:

  • assessment measures used to assess client symptoms
  • assessment measures used to inform treatment approaches for survivors of sexual assault
  • assessment measures used to measure treatment progress.

For more information and to participate, please read the participant information sheet.




Barnardos Australia has launched its national research survey into the effects of DFV experienced during childhood.

Australians aged 18 years and over are invited to take part in a survey to explore their experience of being exposed to DFV as children and young people, and the impacts this has had on their day-to-day life. Participation is voluntary, responses are anonymous, and the survey only takes 8–10 minutes to complete.

The research project will contribute to an understanding of how children and young people can be best supported having been exposed to DFV, and guide the development of effective engagement practices. Participants’ insights will be invaluable in helping us to improve the way we respond to children’s needs with programs and policy reform to assist in the protection and care of children.

You can find out more about this important and unique research on the Barnardos website.


New research and resources

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



Champions of Change Coalition. (2021). Implementation guide: For workplace action on domestic and family violence. https://championsofchangecoalition.org/resource/domestic-and-family-violence-resources/

Champions of Change Coalition. (2021). Tools and resources: For workplace action on domestic and family violence. Champions of Change Coalition. https://championsofchangecoalition.org/resource/domestic-and-family-violence-resources/



Books and reports

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Monitoring perpetrator interventions in Australia (Cat. no: FDV 7). https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/monitoring-perpetrator-interventions-in-australia/contents/summary

Champions of Change Coalition. (2021). Playing our part: A framework for workplace action on domestic and family violence. https://championsofchangecoalition.org/resource/domestic-and-family-violence-resources/

Hlavka, H. R., & Mulla, S. (2021). Bodies in evidence: Race, gender, and science in sexual assault adjudication. New York University Press. https://doi.org/10.18574/nyu/9781479809646

Krayem, G., & Carland, S. (Eds.). (2021). Muslim women and agency: An Australian context. Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004473225



Journal articles

Andrews, S., Hamilton, B., & Humphreys, C. (2021). A global silence: A critical interpretive synthesis of Aboriginal mothering through domestic and family violence. Affilia. https://doi.org/10.1177/08861099211055520

Blagg, H., Hovane, V., Tulich, T., Raye, D., May, S., & Worrigal, T. (2021). Law, culture and decolonisation: The perspectives of Aboriginal Elders on family violence in Australia. Social & Legal Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/09646639211046134

George, E., Guagliano, J., Jammal, M., Kolt, G., Morgan, P., Rossi, T., & Young, M. (2021). Family perceptions of the Active Breed men’s health program. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 24, S47-S48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2021.09.120

Krayem, G., & Krayem, M. (2021). Muslim women’s agency in Australian domestic violence services. In Muslim women and agency (pp. 76–97). Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004473225_006

Palmer du Preez, K., Paavonen, A.-M., & Bellringer, M. E. (2021). Theoretically informed gender analysis for gambling harm reduction: a New Zealand study. Harm Reduction Journal, 18(1), 111. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00558-5

Russell, E. K., Carlton, B., & Tyson, D. (2021). ‘It’s a gendered Issue, 100 per cent’: How tough bail laws entrench gender and racial inequality and social disadvantage. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.1882

Suomi, A., Bolton, A., & Pasalich, D. (2021). The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in birth parents in child protection services: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380211048444

Sutherland, G., Bulsara, C., Robinson, S., & Codde, J. (2021). Older women’s perceptions of the impact of homelessness on their health needs and their ability to access healthcare. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.13156

Williams, S. R., Afrouz, R., & Vassos, S. (2021). Exploring rural and regional social workers’ perceptions and practices of technology-facilitated domestic abuse. Australian Social Work, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2021.1985547

Yates, S., Carey, G., Hargrave, J., Malbon, E., & Green, C. (2021). Women’s experiences of accessing individualized disability supports: Gender inequality and Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme. International Journal for Equity in Health, 20(1), 243. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-021-01571-7

​In the media


Tangentyere Council’s “Boys Can Girls Can” campaign aims to save women’s lives—ABC News

A national plan on women’s safety needs national leadership: Senator Jenny McAllister on the decade ahead—Women’s Agenda

Multiculturalism means family violence can take many forms — these workshops want them all to stop—ABC News

Review of Tasmanian family violence offenders with electronic monitoring bracelets released—The Examiner

Sandra Peniamina was savagely killed by her husband but an “ancient” legal loophole meant he was found guilty of a lesser charge—ABC News

Technology-enabled abuse: how “safety by design” can reduce stalking and domestic violence—The Conversation

We have a decade to achieve gender equality—Victor Harbor times

Woman forced to live in abuser’s home calls for more culturally specific refuges—SBS The Feed



How can police better tackle domestic and family violence?—ABC Radio

Reforming NSW sexual consent laws —ABC Radio

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