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Our research

Violence against women and 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.


Preventing gender-based violence in inpatient mental health units

January 2020

This project explored and documented the experiences of gender-based violence occurring in mental health inpatient units to inform recommendations for how policy and practice can be improved to make these environments safe for women.

The project investigated the circumstances in which gender-based violence is occurring as a result of mental health inpatient stays and what could have prevented the violence from occurring. The research  used as its foundation the involvement of women who have experienced violence and drew on their knowledge to provide recommendations for future prevention and to promote the best interests and safety of women.

The project was informed by two research questions:

  1. What are the experiences of gender-based violence for women staying in adult mental health inpatient units?
  2. How can these experiences inform and improve policy and service delivery?

The Research report includes Guidelines for ensuring women’s safety in mental health inpatient units.


Project lead

Dr Juliet Watson, RMIT University (Early Career Researcher)

Research expertise

Dr Chris Maylea, RMIT University

A/Prof Suellen Murray, RMIT University

A/Prof Russell Roberts, Charles Sturt University

Practice expertise

Mental Health Legal Centre Inc.

NorthWestern Mental Health

Victoria Legal Aid



Preventing gender-based violence in mental health inpatient units



Preventing gender-based violence in mental health inpatient units
Key findings and future directions



Safe for women? Preventing gender-based violence in mental health inpatient units

Drawing on findings from ANROWS research led by Dr Juliet Watson of RMIT University titled “Preventing gender-based violence in mental health inpatient units”, this panel of advocates, researchers and practitioners discuss: women’s experiences of gender-based violence in inpatient mental health units, how current practices are not keeping women safe and what changes can be made to improve mental health inpatient services.

Priority populations

Women with disability (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
Email: enquiries@anrows.org.au      

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