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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 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.

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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.

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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.


EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS

Responses to reproductive coercion: Perspectives of non-directive, all-options pregnancy counselling practitioners

Background

Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) is an often hidden yet increasingly recognised form of interpersonal violence. RCA often results in unintended pregnancy making it likely that counsellors who provide pregnancy decision-making counselling are working with people who experience RCA on a regular basis. Yet, little is known about how they identify and respond to disclosures of RCA nor whether current training, policies, legislation and referral pathways sufficiently address and support the appropriate responses to RCA.

Aim

The aim of the current study is to explore how staff working in non-directive, all-options pregnancy counselling identify and respond to disclosures of RCA, and in particular, what behaviours are being disclosed to staff that may constitute RCA and what their responses are if these behaviours are disclosed. We are also interested in how RCA is broached, what the common "red flags" are, and whether current policies, training, and referral pathways sufficiently address and support the appropriate responses to RCA.

Methods

This study utilises a combination of focus groups and interviews to explore how practitioners working in non-directive, all-options pregnancy counselling identify and respond to disclosures of reproductive coercion and abuse. Participants are being recruited from community organisations who, for a substantive part of their workload, help women and pregnant people with their pregnancy decision-making in their role as a non-directive, all-options pregnancy counselling practitioner. Data will be thematically analysed.

Significance

Our findings will contribute to the development of best practice guidelines for health professionals on recognising and responding to reproductive coercion and abuse. Our findings may also assist organisations to develop policies and identify training needs within the sector.

Funding Body

Griffith University

Funding Budget

$5000

Project start date

November 2021

Expected completion date

June 2022
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