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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.


The imposition of a coerced autonomy: Suicidal “bad girls”, human service professionals and gender bias


Through a thematic analysis of four cases of suicide by young women identified from the National Coronial Information System, I apply a gendered lens to understand the ways human service professionals’ expectations of feminine behaviour led them to view these young women as "bad girls" and imposed a disempowering coerced autonomy framework onto them. In this framework, the girls were held responsible for factors that caused their distress but were denied self-determination in their diagnosis and/or treatment. I aim to broaden understanding of how gendered expectations can have fatal consequences.


The purpose of this paper is to provide visibility of the experiences of a group of young Australian women who died by suicide that are hidden in quantitative studies of suicide and overlooked in media representations of female suicidality. This group of women, some of whom were marginalised because of Indigeneity or ethnicity, experienced multiple adversities in their childhoods. They were frequently physically and sexually abused, engaged in drug and alcohol abuse, and had frequent contact with police and child welfare services.


A grounded, thematic analysis of four cases of suicide by young women who had told someone they were suicidal.


One of the main implications for social work and human service practice from the findings is the importance of holistic preventative approaches to human services and social work practice, especially approaches informed by anti-oppressive, anti-racist and feminist underpinnings, and that are trauma informed (Dominelli & Campling, 2002; Fook, 2012; Levenson, 2017; Matteson, 2013). A further implication for social work and all human services practice is the need for approaches similar to novel suicide prevention initiatives, such as those outlined in the National Suicide Prevention Strategy 2020-2023 (NSPPRG, 2020), rather than a focus on individual crisis intervention.

Project start date

January 2020

Expected completion date

January 2024
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