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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.


Thoughtful teachers: Trauma-informed and restorative practices in schools


Research interest is growing around the impact of trauma and chronic stress on child development, particularly relating to the brain. Intergenerational trauma is one example of chronic stress and complex trauma which affects child development, behaviour and learning outcomes. Often this trauma is manifested in behaviours that are outside acceptable societal boundaries, which can either become internalised (self-harm) or externalised (disruptive) behaviours. Complex trauma can have physiological, psychological, emotional, social and cultural layers. Schools’ responses to the impact of trauma often focus on correcting behaviour through discipline, sanctions and punishment, which act to continue the cycle of dysfunction, pain, social isolation and further trauma, all of which have deleterious effects on child health and wellbeing.


This research aims to explore the impact of trauma and construct a multidisciplinary approach to understanding how it affects children and educators in Queensland. This research will benefit children and educators by increasing knowledge and understanding about 1) the impact of trauma and other adverse childhood experiences on behaviour; and 2) the detrimental impact of punitive behaviour management and the potential benefits of restorative practice.


The research design for this study takes a multidisciplinary approach through a case study methodology nested in a design-based approach. Phenomenological analysis of the qualitative data collected in semi-structured interviews will be conducted using emergent coding and theming to develop greater understanding of needs and strategies that professionals working with trauma-affected people employ with children who have experienced or are experiencing complex trauma.


The outcomes of this research will result in a collaborative approach to creating strategies for responding to systemic barriers to responding to children experiencing complex trauma. These strategies can upskill pre-service and in-service teachers to improve learning outcomes for children experiencing complex trauma.

Project start date

February 2021

Expected completion date

February 2023
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