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Our research

Violence against women and their 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.


Season’s greetings and what to expect in 2022

As we come to the end of a year that has been a lesson in dealing with uncertainty, our CEO Padma Raman PSM shares her highlights and reflections on her first six months in the job …   

It’s been a huge honour to lead ANROWS and to learn from the expertise of staff and stakeholders over the last six months. One of my key highlights has been being involved in the development of the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Children. This including having the privilege of being the only invitee to chair a session at the 2021 National Summit on Women’s Safety. The session focused on sexual harassment and the Australian Government response to the Respect@Work report. At ANROWS we carried that through into the launch of our sexual harassment research program, with grant recipients to be announced early next year.

During my relatively short tenure heading up ANROWS, I have focused upon building our organisation’s evaluation capacity, and finalising the way we measure our own impact, through a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework that we like to call MEL. Equally important has been my work on embedding the values of the organisation deeper into our workplace culture. This has included developing and mentoring staff, making sure ANROWS values the expertise already in the room, and ensuring we transition into an organisation that plays to our people’s strengths.

ANROWS staff will be taking a well-deserved break between Christmas and the new year. The office will shut at close of business on Christmas Eve, before opening up again on 4 January 2022.

When we return, we will be making some changes to Notepad. With a new name and a new look ready for the new year, we will also be sending out this electronic communique on a new schedule. Look out for it in your inboxes on the last Thursday of each month, kicking off in January 2022.

Until then, and from everyone at ANROWS, I wish you all a restorative festive season, and a better 2022!

Padma Raman PSM


“On the Agenda”: Conference program now available

The schedule and PDF program are now available for the ANROWS National Research Conference, to be held from 22 February to 25 February 2022. This year’s online conference is titled “On the Agenda” and it will explore evidence to inform contemporary policy priorities addressing violence against women and children.

You will join national and international researchers and other leading experts who will share what we are learning from the expansive evidence base. There will also be opportunities for policymakers, practice designers, peak bodies, practitioners, people with lived expertise and researchers to connect and collaborate with each other while unpacking the evidence and reflecting on how it does or could inform policy and practice.

Spread over four days, this online conference will be structured around a series of Evidence Presentations including “What we know about intimate partner homicide”, “Putting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing at the heart of trauma-informed policy and practice” and “Measuring success: Data and evaluation”, just to name a few.

At an additional cost, delegates will have the opportunity to attend Evidence to Action workshops produced in collaboration with partner organisations. In a small group environment, participants will unpack and reflect on how the evidence does, or could, impact and influence their policy and practice work. Across the conference there will also be opportunities for networking and connecting with peers in an online space.

Registrations will open on Friday 17 December. For more information about the schedule and different registration options, visit the conference website. If you have any questions, please contact conference@anrows.org.au


Global impacts of COVID-19 – and innovative service responses to them

As we reach the end of the second year to be severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the reading list of articles assessing the “shadow pandemic” of domestic and family violence continues to pile up: you can read the WHO’s report on violence against women and children during COVID-19 in the European region,  an assessment of gender-based violence and infectious disease in humanitarian settings, Oxfam’s “The Ignored Pandemic: The Dual Crises of Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19”, and UN Women’s “Measuring the Shadow Pandemic”. And these are just the beginning.

In response to these heightened risks to women and children posed by the spread of COVID-19, a number of policy initiatives and innovative practices have emerged. In partnership with the University of Melbourne, ANROWS has been working on the DAHLIA-19 study (“Domestic Abuse: Harnessing Learning Internationally under COVID-19”), an international research study exploring domestic and family violence service provision in the context of the pandemic.

The research is taking place in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. A number of interim reports, focusing on new initiatives in each country, are being released in the lead-up to the final report’s release in 2022, and the Australian country report is now available through the ANROWS website.

The report takes a broad look at Australian initiatives that were implemented during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and up until June 2021. A number of key findings have emerged:

  • The rapid shift from face-to-face practice to tele-practice, online and working from home – concurrent with an increase in demand, complexity and risk – is a major innovative change.
  • The pandemic highlighted the social injustices that already exist in Australian society, particularly for those women and children living with DFV who are structurally disadvantaged.
  • The DFV sector and government developed a collaborative approach during the early stages of the pandemic, and this should continue.

There needs to be further evaluation of the many initiatives that have been developed, with a particular focus on children and issues of intersectionality. The report recommends that policy and funding strategies proactively address social injustices that the pandemic has highlighted, and that initiatives and messaging continue to highlight the importance of prevention.

Download the Australian interim report now. You can also access the equivalent reports from Ireland and the United Kingdom through the DAHLIA-19 website.


How effective are respectful relationships and bystander programs in school and tertiary education settings?

ANROWS has today published an overview of reviews of respectful relationships and bystander programs in education settings. These programs seek to promote health and equal relationships and reduce sexual and dating violence experienced and perpetrated by young people, in and out of relationships, by equipping them with the attitudes, knowledge and skills to confront violence.

“Reducing relationship and sexual violence: Findings from reviews about the effectiveness of respectful relationships and bystander programs in school and tertiary education settings” provides an overview of the evidence from systematic reviews addressing this type of intervention , creating a compact resource that synthesises findings from an overwhelmingly large body of research literature.

Also contained within the paper are directions for future research, and an outline of implications for policy and practice.

This is the first in a series of three overviews of reviews. Given the breadth of the violence against women research landscape, these overviews can help to establish an understanding of the nature of the evidence base, and how certain interventions compare to similar interventions.

These overviews are a component of a larger ANROWS “What Works” project. The major component of this project – the “What Works” framework – is due to be launched in mid-2022, and consists of an evidence portal that captures the existing evidence in relation to what works – or doesn’t work – to prevent and respond to violence against women.

The evidence portal will become a vital resource to support policy and program staff in government and throughout the family, domestic and sexual violence service sector to assess the evidence and effectiveness of different interventions, programs and strategies. It will also enable these groups to make decisions in relation to research design, priorities and evidence gaps. Further updates will be delivered through Notepad as we approach the 2022 launch date – watch this space!


New analysis shows sexual harassment a growing problem in Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released new analysis of the 2016 Personal Safety Survey (PSS) data, exploring experiences of sexual harassment in Australia. Sexual harassment is gendered, with women twice as likely as men to experience sexual harassment over their lifetime (53% compared with 25%). According to this data, the most common sexual harassment behaviour experienced by women was inappropriate comments about body or sex life (33%), followed by unwanted touching, grabbing, kissing or fondling (30%). The data also shows that harassment can have a long-term negative impact on those who have experienced it. For example, women who have experienced sexual harassment are more likely to report lower life satisfaction and feeling unsafe when alone in public spaces at night.

These long-term negative impacts sit at odds with Australian attitudes to sexual harassment reflected in ANROWS’s National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS), which tells us that as many as 1 in 5 Australians continue to justify or excuse sexual harassment. The 2017 NCAS also found:

  • 23 per cent of Australians agree women find it flattering to be persistently pursued, even if they are not interested
  • 21 per cent of Australians agree that since some women are so sexual in public, it’s not surprising that some men think they can touch some women without permission.

Taken together, these surveys help to paint a picture of why sexual harassment is a significant issue in Australia (the prevalence of sexual harassment increased between 2012 and 2016 for both men and women) and why primary prevention initiatives are needed to change community attitudes. You can read the full Australian Bureau of Statistics media release on sexual harassment via the ABS website.


Australian Human Rights Commission releases “Set the Standard” report

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s Set the Standard report, tabled at the end of November, drew on more than 1,700 individual contributions to develop an understanding of the problems inherent in Australian parliamentary culture. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins noted, “Over half (51%) of all people currently in Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces (CPWs) have experienced at least one incident of bullying, sexual harassment or actual or attempted sexual assault in a CPW. That is unacceptably high.”

In response to the findings, the report outlines 28 recommendations to enable parliamentary workplaces to meet the standard expected of workplaces across the country. In 2022, ANROWS will be announcing a slate of new projects forming our Sexual Harassment Research Program, some of which will be focusing on workplace sexual harassment – look out for these early next year.


Driving evidence-informed practice change

Now in its third year, WorkUP has supported five organisations to implement evidence in practice via practice studios – small implementation projects that seek to implement evidence in real-world practice settings.

Two practice studios are now complete: the Cairns Sexual Assault Services project, that implemented the trauma- and violence-informed care framework based on the work that Kelsey Hegarty and her team did in the WITH study; and Women’s Health Queensland’s project, which leveraged the learnings from both ANROWS’s CALD PAR initiative and the Safe & Together ally guide.

On 7 December, WorkUP hosted a showcase event at which two final implementation reports were launched and all the hosts presented on the work they had done. Both implementation reports are now available to read on the WorkUP Queensland website. Recordings of the hosts’ presentations are also available.

The showcase also marked the launch of the third expressions of interest round. Find the information you need through the WorkUP website and watch our Q&A session about the process and the projects. Host organisations must be funded through the Queensland Office for Women to provide domestic and family violence, sexual assault or women’s health and wellbeing services. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact workforce@healingfoundation.org.au 

WorkUP Queensland is a partnership between the Healing Foundation (lead partner) and ANROWS, funded through the Office for Women. It provides workforce capacity- and capability-building support to the domestic and family violence, sexual assault and women’s health and wellbeing workforce in Queensland.


ANROWS continues to build its evaluation capacity

During 2021, ANROWS has continued to build its portfolio of commissioned evaluation and evaluation capacity-building projects:

In order to coordinate this developing suite of projects, ANROWS recently appointed Dr Peter Ninnes to the position of evaluation manager.

Please contact Peter if you wish to discuss how ANROWS can support your departmental, organisational, program or project evaluation or evaluation capacity-building needs.


The importance of intervening early with teens who use DFV behaviours

Last week the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) released new research that addresses the question of whether teenagers reported to the police for their use of DFV behaviours go on to use these behaviours as adults.

In this Australian study of 8,465 adolescents (13 to 17 years old) proceeded against by NSW Police, seven per cent were proceeded against for a DFV offence. Of this group, 58 per cent went on to be proceeded against for a DFV offence when they were 18 to 23 years old. By comparison, of the 27 per cent of adolescents who were proceeded against for a non-DFV violent offence, only 18 per cent went on to be proceeded against for a DFV offence when they were 18 to 23 years old.

This means adolescents proceeded against for a DFV offence when they were 13 to 17 years old were 6.5 times more likely to be proceeded against for a DFV offence when they were 18 to 23 years old when compared to teenagers who used violence in other ways.

This significant result emphasises the importance of early and nuanced intervention with adolescents who use violence in the home. ANROWS has a number of upcoming projects examining this issue, including one addressing collaborative service responses.

Read the full AIC report, “Do violent teens become violent adults? Links between juvenile and adult domestic and family violence”, on their website.

Opportunities and events


Western Victoria primary health network’s “Supporting People with Intellectual Disability to Access Health” (the SPIDAH project) aims to improve how primary health care services are delivered to meet the needs of people with intellectual disability.

Three surveys are currently open to gather information on what is working well, what is challenging or difficult, and what the gaps are, as well as ideas on how to improve access to primary healthcare services for people with intellectual disability.

Surveys are available for health professionals and clinical staff; family, carers, disability service providers and community members; and people with lived experience of intellectual disability.

The surveys close at 5:00pm on 16 December 2021.



Flinders University is currently conducting research about what services can do to better help young people with disability when they experience family violence. The project is about improving systems to respond to children and young people’s priorities, and the research team is keen to hear from young people with disability, as well as their family members.

If you work in the disability sector and know of young people with disability and their family members who might be interested in sharing their thoughts with the research team, please put them in touch with Sally Robinson at Flinders University.



CQUniversity is seeking respondents for a survey designed to enable a clearer understanding of compassion fatigue and burnout in workers who engage with clients experiencing and/or perpetrating DFV.

The anonymous online survey explores personal and professional demographics as well as factors that are associated with burnout and compassion fatigue.

The survey takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete, and is open to professionals (18 years and older) who are directly or indirectly exposed to clients experiencing and/or perpetrating DFV, and who have worked in Australia or New Zealand during the last five years.


New research and resources

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



Abuse and violence – Working with our patients in general practice (5th ed.). (2021). RACGP. https://www.racgp.org.au/clinical-resources/clinical-guidelines/key-racgp-guidelines/view-all-racgp-guidelines/abuse-and-violence/preamble

The Equality Institute. (2021). 16 Days of Activism 2021 [Videos]. https://vimeo.com/channels/1749938

Pender, T. (Facilitator), Brown, M. (Speaker), Salter, M. (Speaker), & Higgins, J. (Speaker). (2021, December 6). Men as makers of change [Webinar]. Gender Research Network, University of Newcastle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrVG2_tUm8M

TramLab. (2021). Toolkit for gender-sensitive training. La Trobe University. https://www.latrobe.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1298885/Training-and-Awareness-for-Public-Service-Providers.pdf

TramLab. (2021). Toolkit for gender-sensitive placemaking. La Trobe University. https://www.latrobe.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/1298895/Placemaking-Case-Study-in-Darebin-Council.pdf

TramLab. (2021). Toolkit for gender-sensitive data. La Trobe University.

TramLab. (2021). Toolkit for gender-sensitive communication campaigns. La Trobe University. https://www.latrobe.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1298889/Communication-Strategy-about-Sexual-Harassment-on-Public-Transport.pdf



Books and reports

Australian Human Rights Commission. (2021). Set the standard: Report on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces. https://humanrights.gov.au/set-standard-2021

Glenn, R., & Kutin, J. (2021). Economic abuse in Australia: Perceptions and experience. Centre for Women’s Economic Safety. https://cwes.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/EA-in-Australia-2021.pdf

Homan, S., & Fulu, E. (2021). Sustainable development goals and violence against women and girls. The Equality Institute. https://www.equalityinstitute.org/projects/sustainable-development-goals-and-violence-against-women-and-girls



Journal articles

Borges Jelinic, A. (2021). Navigating the family law provisions: Migrant women’s voices. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), 131–145. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.2017

Doran, F., & Orrock, P. (2021). Educating university allied health students about gender-based violence: Report of a pilot study. Focus on Health Professional Education, 22(3). https://doi.org/10.11157/fohpe.v22i3.440

Fitz-Gibbon, K., & Walklate, S. (2021). Criminalisation and the violence(s) of the state: Criminalising men, punishing women. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), i–v. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.1991

Goodmark, L. (20). Gender-based violence, law reform, and the criminalization of survivors of violence. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), 13–25. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.1994

Hwang, Y. I., Simpson, P. L., & Butler, T. G. (2021). Victim and victim support staff experiences of a domestic violence electronic monitoring program in Australia. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X211058950

Larance, L.Y., Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Goodmark, L., & Douglas, H. (2021). Beyond the victim–offender binary: Legal and anti-violence intervention considerations with women who have used force in the US and Australia. Affilia. https://doi.org/10.1177/08861099211060549

Lyneham, S. (2021). Attrition of human trafficking and slavery cases through the Australian criminal justice system. Trends & Issues in crime and criminal justice (No. 640). https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi640

Magalhães Gomes, C., Campos, C. H., Bull, M., & Carrington, K. (2021). Policing and preventing gender violence in the Global South. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), i–ii. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.2186

Morley, C., Carrington, K., Ryan, V., Warren, S., Clarke, J., Ball, M., & Vitis, L. (2021). Locked down with the perpetrator: The hidden impacts of COVID-19 on domestic and family violence in Australia. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), 204-222. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.2069

O’Mullan, C., Hing, N., Mainey, L., Nuske, E., & Breen, H. (2021). Understanding the determinants of gambling-related intimate partner violence: Perspectives from women who gamble. Violence Against Women. https://doi.org/10.1177/10778012211051399

Reeves, E. (2021). “I’m not at all protected and I think other women should know that, that they’re not protected either”: Victim–survivors’ experiences of “misidentification” in Victoria’s family violence system. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), 39–51. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.1992

Segrave, M. (2021). Temporary migration and family violence: How perpetrators weaponise borders. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), 26–38. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.1995

Walklate, S., & Fitz-Gibbon, K. (2021, 12/01). Why criminalise coercive control? The complicity of the criminal law in punishing women through furthering the power of the state. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.1829

​In the media



Domestic violence goes unrecognised in faith communities—ANU media release

‘Generational change’ needed to fight sexual harassment—The Canberra Times

HILDA survey reveals women still do almost double the unpaid work of men—Women’s Agenda

How money talks when you have a ‘whole of system’ challenge—The Mandarin

Hundreds of violent NSW men fail to complete behavioural change programs—Sydney Morning Herald https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/hundreds-of-violent-nsw-men-fail-to-complete-behavioural-change-programs-20211202-p59e8z.html

I am a child of domestic violence, and I am breaking my silence—The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/society/commentisfree/2021/dec/04/i-am-a-child-of-domestic-violence-and-i-am-breaking-my-silence

The long fight against sexual assault and harassment at universities—The Conversation

Safe, respected and free from violence: Preventing violence against women in the Northern Territory—The Conversation https://theconversation.com/safe-respected-and-free-from-violence-preventing-violence-against-women-in-the-northern-territory-172243

Victims of sexual violence let down by UK asylum system, report says—The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/nov/29/victims-of-sexual-violence-let-down-by-uk-asylum-system-report-says

The urgent need to address coercive control of women with disability—Monash Lens



Trigger warnings: what if they don’t work, what if they make traumatic memories worse?—Saturday Extra, Radio National https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/trigger-warnings:-what-if-they-don%E2%80%99t-work,-what-if-they-make-tr/13628414




North America: The “secret” app that helps domestic violence victims document their abuse—SBS News

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