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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.


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.


Good practice in delivering and evaluating interventions for young people with harmful sexual behaviours

Project length
2 years

Young people account for a significant proportion of individuals engaging in unwanted or harmful sexual behaviours against children. Many young people who engage in harmful sexual behaviours have their own history of childhood trauma, including exposure to domestic and family violence. This research shows that these young people require holistic interventions that involve specialist services and multiple partner agencies.

This mixed-methods study mapped national service responses to young people with harmful sexual behaviours, and compared the therapeutic responses of three services.

The study found that there are variations and gaps in services for young people with harmful sexual behaviours, and information about service availability is not readily accessible. Specialist services operate in a complex environment that may make service provision challenging.

The report recommends the establishment of a public repository of information about services for young people with harmful sexual behaviours. Funding bodies should dedicate resources to collaborative research into tailoring therapeutic work to vulnerable young people.

The researchers have also proposed principles of good practice, which should be used to guide practitioners in their therapeutic work with young people. It will also support practice designers and funders in ensuring appropriate resourcing is made available.


Project Lead

Dr Antonia Quadara, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Research expertise

Dr Wendy O'Brien, Deakin University

Dr Olivia Ball, Deakin University

Will Douglas, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Linna Vu, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Practice expertise

Mr Dale Tolliday, New Street Services

Mr Howard Bath, Alambi Care

Ms Carolyn Worth, South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence

Research Partners

New Zealand Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abuse (ANZATSA)

Mr Russell Pratt, Statewide Principal Practitioner in the Office of Professional Practice DHHS (who delivers SABTS programs in Victoria)

Advisory Group with representatives from diverse sectors such as police, child and family welfare agencies, family support services, family violence services, child protection and education.

Additional information

Additional project information is available at https://aifs.gov.au/projects/good-practice-delivering-and-evaluating-interventions-young-people-sexually-abusive-behaviours


Research report

Good practice in delivering and evaluating interventions for young people with harmful sexual behaviours


Research summary

Good practice in responding to young people with harmful sexual behaviours: Key findings and future directions




Funded by Australian Government Department of Social Services.

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