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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.


Kungas’ trauma experiences and effects on behaviour in Central Australia

February 2020

This project was a pilot study that aimed to understand Central Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s experiences of trauma and their effects on behaviour and incarceration.

This project was undertaken through the Kunga Stopping Violence Program (KSVP). The KSVP is a voluntary throughcare program for Aboriginal women in the Alice Springs Correctional Centre who have an alleged history of violent offending. The KSVP designed a pilot study that aimed to provide an opportunity for clients of the KSVP to tell their life stories, and to contribute to a deeper understanding of the life events that led to their incarceration. The project aimed to identify the interventions, services and supports that can divert women into programs to prevent incarceration and necessary reforms to meet the needs of Aboriginal women experiencing complex trauma.

The research revealed a cohort of women who are financially stressed and lacking stable and safe accommodation, dealing with addictions to alcohol or using other drugs, and who have high physical and mental health needs. Almost all of the women had experienced violence by an intimate partner prior to entering prison. Common to the women’s stories was the devastating impact of intergenerational trauma. These factors not only contributed to offending, but also to the likelihood of incarceration.



Kungas’ trauma experiences and effects on behaviour in Central Australia

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Telling life stories: Exploring the connection between trauma and incarceration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
Key findings and future directions

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Project Lead

Ms Miriam Bevis, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency

Research expertise

Prof Judy Atkinson, We Al-li Trust

Dr Michelle Sweet, Menzies School of Health Research

Ms Leisa McCarthy, Menzies School of Health Research

Priority populations

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women who are, or have been, incarcerated (as explicit topic).



Funded by Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments under ANROWS’s 2017 core grant round.

find out more

Contact ANROWS

PO Box Q389, Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230
Phone: 61 2 8374 4000
| Email: enquiries@anrows.org.au

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