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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.

STACY for Children

Safe and Together Addressing ComplexitY focussing on children

Project length
< 1 year

This action research project aims to examine outcomes for children and their families living with domestic and family violence (DFV) who are also living with parental mental health issues (MH) and/or alcohol or drug misuse (AOD).

The project focuses on the Safe & Together™ Model, in locations where it has been implemented. This Model seeks to enhance the capacity of those working in statutory and non-statutory child protection to apply a DFV-informed lens to their practice, record keeping and decision making (particularly in relation to risk assessment and perpetrator risk management).

It involves ‘pivoting to the perpetrator’—raising the visibility of the pattern of behaviours of fathers who choose to use violence—whilst building a partnering relationship with the adult survivor, and keeping children’s safety and wellbeing at the forefront.

Project summary

The project comprises two studies. The first, a quantitative study, will use a comparative study of control sites and a site in which the Model has been implemented to answer these questions:

  1. How have interactions with the statutory agency changed since the implementation of the DFV-informed Safe & Together approach to child protection in select regions?
  2. Are there higher rates of DFV identified by statutory child protection practitioners who have implemented the Safe & Together Model than other practitioners who have not implemented the Model?
  3. What are the impacts of intersecting complexities of DFV, AOD and MH on children and their trajectory with child protection?

The second study, a qualitative analysis, will use case studies of adult survivors, perpetrators of violence and abuse, and children and young people (age 9–18 years) who have experienced a response from a worker trained in the Safe & Together Model, as well as practitioners who have implemented the Safe &Together Model. Participants will be drawn from sites in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. It will aim to answer these questions:

  1. How do individual family members experience the interventions they receive?
  2.  How have practitioners experienced the implementation of the collaborative Safe & Together Model within and across their organisations?

This project builds on earlier ANROWS projects, including the PATRICIA project (PaThways and Research Into Collaborative Inter-Agency practice) and Invisible Practices: Interventions with fathers who use violence, both of which drew on the Safe & Together Model. It has been developed in collaboration with the Queensland Department for Child Safety, Youth and Women.


Principal Chief Investigator

Professor Cathy Humphreys, Professor of Social Work, Department of Social Work, University of Melbourne

Research Expertise

Dr Arno Parolini, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Work, University of Melbourne

Dr Lucy Healey, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Work, University of Melbourne

Dr Menka Tsantefski, Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University

Dr Susan Heward-Belle, Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney

Dr Margaret Kertesz, University of Melbourne

Jasmin Isolde, University of Melbourne

Wei Wu Tan, University of Melbourne

Professor Patrick O’Leary, Griffith University

Amy Young, Griffith University

See also


PATRICIA project (PaThways and Research Into Collaborative Inter-Agency practice)

Find out more


Invisible practices: Intervention with fathers who use violence

Find out more


STACY – Safe and Together Addressing Complexity

Find out more

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