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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 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.


Dowry abuse and South Asian populations in Australia: Identifying core features, exploring community narratives and developing resources for prevention and intervention


New South Wales has a large and vibrant multicultural community. The practice of dowry remains a central marriage custom in many local communities. With the prevalence of this practice, many South Asian community members in the Parramatta Council LGA have expressed that dowry abuse also affects their communities. Dowry abuse is defined as "any act of violence or harassment associated with the giving or receiving of dowry at any time before, during or after the marriage". This project, therefore, seeks to fill in the "knowledge gaps" regarding this significant issue of domestic and family violence through case file review and focus groups with affected women and the service providers who support them. In doing so the project will produce the following outcomes:
1. evidence that helps to identify the core and typical features of dowry abuse
2. experiential narratives that clarify the intersectional and socio-ecological factors that perpetuate dowry abuse
3. resources to support women, families, communities and services to identify and address dowry abuse.


The aim of this project is to develop data and evidence about the incidence and impact of dowry abuse within the South Asian community of western Sydney.


The research methods will be a brief demographic survey, focus groups and textual analysis. They will be used as follows:
- Survey: demographic details about the women who participate in interviews/focus groups will be collected via a short survey.
- Focus group: to better understand the experiential narratives of women who have survived dowry abuse and service providers who support women in this circumstance, focus groups will be conducted.
- Textual analysis: case files from partner domestic violence services in Parramatta will be reviewed to help identify core features of dowry abuse in relation to South Asian women from 2014 to the present.


Dowry abuse affects the health and wellbeing of women and their communities in ways yet to be fully understood. This project seeks to provide evidence that authentically captures community voices and strengths. In doing so, the data can be utilised in advocacy initiatives and training programs for communities and frontline professionals. This can translate into improved health and wellbeing outcomes with resources to build the capacity of community and service providers to prevent and address dowry abuse.

Project start date

December 2020

Expected completion date

December 2021
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