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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.


Secure your grant for sexual harassment research

Every October, Queensland observes Sexual Violence Awareness Month to focus community attention on sexual violence, promote the support options available to people affected by sexual assault and sexual abuse, and uphold a clear message that sexual violence will not be tolerated in Queensland communities.

This Sexual Violence Awareness Month, don’t let the opportunity to secure a grant for research on sexual harassment, an insidious form of harm located on the sexual violence spectrum, slip away.

ANROWS welcomes proposals for research on, for example, toxic workplace cultures that enable sexual harassment, the use of sexual innuendo in Australian workplaces, the nature of perpetration of sexual harassment, and the long-term impacts of workplace sexual harassment.

Funding applications must be received by 11:59pm (AEDT) on Monday, 11 October 2021. For further information and to apply, please visit our website.



Achieving justice in response to street and public harassment

Newly uploaded to ANROWS’s Register of Active Research (RAR) is a compelling research project led by Dr Bianca Fileborn at the University of Melbourne that aims to develop new conceptualisations of victim-centred justice in response to street harassment: a unique form of sexualised harm and an increasingly pressing global phenomenon.

Using in-depth interviews with people who have experienced this kind of harm, as well as key stakeholders who could have a role to play in implementing responses to it, “Achieving justice in response to street and public harassment: Developing victim-centred perspectives” will generate new knowledge in relation to victims’ and survivors’ experiences and the impacts of street harassment in Australia.

The project also involves mapping current policy and activist responses to street harassment in three countries – Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Findings from the project are intended to inform the development of effective and innovative justice mechanisms for victims and survivors who currently do not have access to justice.

This project, alongside many others focusing on the topic of sexual violence and sexual harassment, is housed in the RAR. You can explore the RAR by topic area and population type, and if, like Dr Fileborn, you currently have research underway, relating to violence against women and their children and with an Australian target population, we invite you to register it with us. You might even see it shared with the sector in a future issue of Notepad.



Victims and survivors and policy change on gender-based violence

One of ANROWS’s research programs is funded by the ANROWS Research Fund to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, a public fund that represents public donations to the organisation, including donations made to the former Luke Batty Foundation.

Doctoral researcher Lisa Wheildon, from Monash University, is leading one of the projects in this program: “Speaking truth to power: The role of victims and survivors in driving policy change on gender-based violence”.

With the rise in profile and influence of victims of crime, governments around the world are working with victims and survivors in the development of public policy and support services. Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach including public policy and criminological theories, Ms Wheildon’s research analyses the role of victims and survivors of domestic violence in the development of policy, and assesses the pros and cons of various mechanisms being used to engage them.

The project’s first output is an article that explores the influence of victims and survivors as change agents through an examination of the case of domestic and family violence advocate, Rosie Batty AO. “One of the most important themes to emerge from the interviews was the importance of Rosie’s outsider status and the fact she was not from the DFV sector or government,” Ms Wheildon told Women’s Agenda.

“Rosie’s outsider status, together with the power and urgency of her lived experience, enabled her to overcome institutional divisions and ideological differences to build networks encompassing the expertise and institutional know-how required to achieve substantial change.”

The article was published in the Violence Against Women journal and can be found through SAGE Journals. You can also explore the entire ANROWS Research Fund research programand donate to it! – through the ANROWS website.


COVID-19 and domestic violence

In 2020, the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) surveyed 15,000 women about their experiences of violence when the impacts of COVID-19 first began to be felt in Australia.

ANROWS has recently published a series of fact sheets that capture the insights arising from these findings, which form the most robust dataset existing in Australia about domestic violence prevalence during the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic (February to May 2020).

The three fact sheets highlight findings about barriers to help-seeking; the impact of increased time at home, social isolation and financial stress; and populations at increased risk of violence. ANROWS worked collaboratively with the AIC to produce these factsheets.

ANROWS will soon be publishing a subsequent study conducted by the AIC, the findings of which will be explored in an upcoming ANROWS webinar (see below).



COVID-19 and the “shadow pandemic”

The AIC has partnered with ANROWS to deliver further research into women’s experiences of IPV during the COVID-19 pandemic. To coincide with the launch of this research, ANROWS is hosting a webinar on Monday 11 October titled “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic and family violence”.

The research represents the most comprehensive survey of women living in the Australian community about the nature of IPV experienced during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will unpack the findings of the study and its implications on future phases of the pandemic. An expert panel – including Anthony Morgan (AIC), Anne Hollonds (National Children’s Commissioner), Sandra Creamer (NATSIWA) and Acting Inspector Mel Dwyer (Queensland Police) – will explore how services across the DFV, police, health and legal sectors responded during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss lessons learned as we approach the end of the second year of the pandemic. The panel will also discuss how the pandemic impacts children who live with domestic and family violence, and there will be a live Q&A.

For more information on the webinar, and to register, please visit the ANROWS website.





The Tasmanian Government is seeking public comment on its intention to introduce legislation to reduce levels of family violence in the state, and to improve the way Tasmania’s justice system deals with perpetrators of family violence.

The government has committed to strengthening family violence laws by creating a new declaration for repeat family violence offenders, as well as to introducing the ability to mandate participation in behaviour change programs as part of a family violence order.

The draft Family Violence Reforms Bill delivers on these commitments and includes additional, miscellaneous amendments to improve the operation of the family and sexual violence legislative framework.

Submissions responding to the draft Bill are welcomed, and can be made online, by email or by post by 5:00pm on Wednesday 13 October 2021.





The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has been commissioned by ANROWS to undertake research in relation to the compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders. The research involves multiple studies, including a survey of parents and carers.

Parents or carers who have had family law parenting orders made in the past five years are invited to participate in this survey. We also encourage you to share this information with your client base if you feel that it would be of interest to them.

This research will help us to understand whether parents comply with parenting orders, how the enforcement process in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) operates, and how well it works. The survey is open to those residing in all states and territories bar Western Australia. For more information on the project, please visit the AIFS website.





Coercive control and social entrapment are key issues that we need to practice and engage with in order to enhance safety and accountability. WorkUP Queensland, in partnership with ShantiWorks, is offering a workshop series on these issues, taking place throughout October.

The concepts of coercive control and social entrapment allow for an in-depth understanding of the complex dynamics that allow perpetrators to establish and maintain control over their partners and ex-partners. They are critical concepts that, when translated into practice, allow us to challenge perpetrators’ systematic tactics and the limitations of our service systems, and to support victims and survivors.

There are four workshops in total, and the first takes place on Friday 8 October 2021. Anyone with an interest in gaining a deeper understanding of coercive control and social entrapment is encouraged to attend, and participants can register for one or more workshops.


New research and resources

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



Safe Work Australia. (2021). Sexual harassment—Your work health & safety duties [Infographic]. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/workplace-sexual-harassment-your-whs-duties-infographic 

Safe Work Australia. (2021). The impacts of sexual harassment [Infographic]. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/impacts-sexual-harassment-infographic  

Safe Work Australia. (2021). Steps to prevent workplace sexual harassment [Infographic]. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/steps-prevent-workplace-sexual-harassment-infographic  



Books and reports

Australian Human Rights Commission. (2021). Equality across the board: Investing in workplaces that work for everyonehttps://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/sex-discrimination/publications/equality-across-board-investing-workplaces-work-everyone

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. (2021). Aboriginal over-representation in the NSW criminal justice system: Quarterly update June 2021. https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Pages/bocsar_publication/Pub_Summary/AOR/CJS-Aboriginal-over-representation-quarterly-Jun-2021.aspx

Hooker, L., Ison, J., Henry, N., Fisher, C., Forsdike, K., Young, F., Korsmeyer, H., O’Sullivan, G., & Taft, A. (2021). Primary prevention of sexual violence and harassment against women and girls: Combining evidence and practice knowledge (Final report and theory of change). Department of Social Services. https://plan4womenssafety.dss.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/la-trobe-final-report-and-theory-change020921.pdf  

Hooker, L., Ison, J., O’Sullivan, G., Fisher, C., Henry, N., Forsdike, K., Young, F., & Taft, A. (2021). Primary prevention of sexual violence and harassment against women and girls: Combining evidence and practice knowledge (Evidence review and data synthesis). Department of Social Services. https://plan4womenssafety.dss.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/la-troberesearch-evidence-review-and-data-synthesisfinal020921.pdf  




Hewitt, A., Owens, R., Stewart, A., & Howe, J. (2021). Are work experience participants protected against sex discrimination or sexual harassment? Alternative Law Journal, 46(2), 115–119. https://doi.org/10.1177/1037969×211002853 

Gatfield, E., O’Leary, P., Meyer, S., & Baird, K. (2021). A multitheoretical perspective for addressing domestic and family violence: Supporting fathers to parent without harm. Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1177/14680173211028562

Innes, S., Maurice, L., Lastella, M., & O’Mullan, C. (2021). Understanding Australian female chiropractors’ experiences of inappropriate patient sexual behaviour: A study using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 29(1), 36. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12998-021-00394-1  

McEwen, C., Pullen, A., & Rhodes, C. (2021). Sexual harassment at work: A leadership problem. Revista de Administração de Empresas, 61(2). https://doi.org/10.1590/s0034-759020210207 

Variyan, G., & Wilkinson, J. (2021). The erasure of sexual harassment in elite private boys’ schools. Gender and Education, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2021.1962516

​In the media

Former FIFO worker speaks out over alleged sexual harassment as mining industry’s treatment of women faces scrutiny—ABC News

Having more female CEOs and stronger laws could help stamp out workplace sexual harassment—ABC News

Female teachers sexually harassed on virtual platforms—Technology Decisions


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