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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 host activities as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) 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.


Knowledge translation resources

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.

Misidentification of domestic and family violence aggrieved/respondents in Australia

Start date | Project Length
Commenced August 2019 | 1 year

This short-term, multi-jurisdictional project is an in-house project being conducted by ANROWS to support effective identification of the aggrieved and respondent in cases where there are mutual allegations of domestic violence and abuse.

The research responds to a recommendation of the Queensland Domestic Violence Death Review and Advisory Board in its 2016-17 Annual Report. The Advisory Board reported that a high proportion of female adult victims of domestic and family violence-related deaths had been identified by police as a respondent on at least one occasion. The proportion was 44.5 percent of all female adult victims and in regard to the Aboriginal family violence deaths reviewed, “nearly all of the victims had a prior history of being recorded as both respondents and aggrieved parties, in both their current and historical relationships” (p. 82).

The Board’s report recommended:

That the Queensland Government commission research which aims to identify how best to respond to the person most in need of protection where there are mutual allegations of violence and abuse. This research should take into account the identification of potential training or education needs for service providers across applicable sectors to better assist in the early identification of, and response to, victims who may use violence particularly where they come to the attention of services during relevant civil proceedings for domestic and family violence protection orders (Recommendation 16).

The Queensland Government has accepted Recommendation 16 and initiated ANROWS’s research in response to it. The proposed research, to be funded through the ANROWS core grant (jointly funded by the Commonwealth, states and territories) was supported by the ANROWS Board following discussions with Senior Officials who have responsibility for the implementation of policy and practice responding to violence against women, nationally.

The misidentification of the aggrieved and respondent in cases of domestic and family violence is of concern in most Australian jurisdictions. Therefore, the project will conduct a national desktop review of relevant policies and quantitative data on the use of protection orders and domestic and family violence-related charges where there are mutual allegations of violence. This will be combined with a deeper qualitative case study in Queensland.


Project lead

Dr Heather Nancarrow, CEO, ANROWS

Project support

Kate Thomas, Senior Research Officer

Research partners

ANROWS will partner with Sisters Inside to facilitate engagement with and support for women with lived experience of criminalisation in the context of misidentification of domestic and family violence aggrieved and respondents. A project reference group consisting of experts with relevant expertise will assist in providing national context for the findings from the research.



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

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