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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.


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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.


Connecting the dots: Understanding the DFV experiences of children and young people with disability within and across sectors

Project length
18 months

Previous research has found that disability services are regularly and notably absent from cross-sector collaborative responses to DFV, and a lack of understanding, resources, awareness of or education about people with disability has led to a lack of “disability literacy” among mainstream services. Alongside this, disability services lack expertise around violence.

This presents challenges for both data capture and the development of more effective responses which improve access and support disability- and violence-informed practice.

There is currently no evidence on the national prevalence of children and young people with disability (CYPWD) experiencing DFV as captured in existing national data sets or on the service needs, priorities and access of CYPWD experiencing DFV.

Research aim/s

This project aims to:

  • Scope and map current data capture of CYPWD experiencing DFV, identifying gaps and limitations and mapping new intersections unique to this population.
  • Develop a new understanding of the support and service needs, priorities and perspectives of CYPWD experiencing DFV, as well as system barriers and enablers.
  • Determine steps to bring service processes into better alignment with CYPWD’s priorities.



The project will take a mixed method approach, conducted across three phases.

Phase one: quantitative analysis of state and national administrative linked data sets containing information about disability and/or DFV.

Phase two: interviews and focus groups will be conducted in six sites in South Australia with:

  • young people with disability (12 to 18 years)
  • families/carers of CYPWD
  • practitioners across service types.

Phase three: A workshop will generate collaborative priorities and recommendations for how to bring practice and policy into better alignment with CYPWD’s priorities for support and service needs.


This project will begin to address one of the evidence gaps of the 2020 interim report of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The report concluded that there is an omission of people with disability from national data collections and a lack of analysis of data on violence and disability, and therefore limited evidence to inform government.

This project will develop the first picture of the prevalence and extent of CYPWD exposed to DFV in Australia, with additional focus on intersecting forms of difference and marginalisation. It also centres the experiences and priorities of CYPWD who have experienced DFV and ensures any policy and practice recommendations are child-focused.


Project lead

Professor Sally Robinson, Professor, Disability and Community Inclusion, Flinders University

Research team

Associate Professor Melissa O’Donnell, Australian Centre for Child Protection, The University of South Australia

Associate Professor Tim Moore, Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia

Professor Fiona Arney, Co-Director, Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia

Associate Professor kylie valentine, Deputy Director, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW

Professor Chris Brebner, Dean (Education), College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University

Dr Amy Marshall, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Disability and Community Inclusion, Flinders University

Dr Jan Idle, Postdoctoral Fellow in Disability and Community Inclusion, Flinders University



This project is funded by Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments under ANROWS’s 2020–2022 Core Grant round.

See also


Core research

Find out more


Health, justice and systems-wide responses

Find out more


Support directory

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