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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.


Transforming responses to intimate partner and sexual violence: Listening to the voices of victims, perpetrators and services

December 2022

It is essential to capture the voices of those who use the service system as they embark on the help-seeking journey, to inform and improve service design and policy responses.

This large-scale national project (the “Voices” study) captures the experiences and perspectives of victims and survivors, people who use violence, and service providers. By building an understanding of help-seeking journeys, this project has addressed a gap in the evidence base which has previously been limited to discrete contexts of help-seeking, such as emergency departments, primary healthcare providers and the court system.

The broader view of the help-seeking journey in this study informs service design and policy responses across service systems. The study was a collaboration between the Safer Families Centre for Research Excellence at the University of Melbourne and ANROWS.

Research aim/s

This project used mixed methods to explore the experiences of the help-seeking journey for victims and survivors and people who use violence, with insights from the service system.

The research generated empirical evidence about the following key issues:

  • the lived experience of intimate partner and sexual violence by a group of women throughout their life
  • patterns of intimate partner and sexual violence used by the people who use it, over their lifetime
  • mapping the different service needs and supports for women and people who use violence, and outlining what was valued in and expected from services
  • an examination of service insights into what currently works when responding to victims and survivors and people who use violence, and what is required for change.



The project employed the following methods.

Online survey with:

  • ninety-five sector stakeholders (participants were practitioners, service designers and managers, and researchers)
  • 1,122 victims and survivors
  • 563 people who have used IPV and/or SV.

In-depth qualitative interviews with:

  • 30 victims and survivors
  • eight people who had used violence.


This is Australia’s first national study to clearly map the help-seeking journeys for victims and survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence, while also mapping the help-seeking journeys for people who use violence. The insights from services on what currently works and what is required to more effectively respond is reflected in the findings from both victims and survivors and people who use violence.

Critically, this study has amplified the voices of victims and survivors and listened to the voices of perpetrators by exploring who they seek help from, what is valued when seeking help and what the barriers to help-seeking are. This project is integral to informing service design and policy responses to address existing gaps in responses to victims and survivors and, crucially, in interventions with perpetrators.

The policy and practice recommendations developed by the researchers include improvements to the service system, and they call for community capacity-building and universal education for friends and family.


Research report

Voices from the frontline: Qualitative perspectives of the workforce on transforming responses to domestic, family and sexual violence

View more

Research report

“I just felt like I was running around in a circle”: Listening to the voices of victims and perpetrators to transform responses to intimate partner violence

View more

Fact sheet

Recommendations: Overarching principles for responses across the service system

View more

Fact sheet

In their words: Stakeholder kit for practitioners

View more


No more circles:
Learning from survivors perpetrators and practitioners on better response to IPV&SV

Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) are pervasive issues within the Australian community, significantly impacting the wellbeing of women and children. Navigating the service system to seek safety is challenging. Understanding the experiences of those who do is necessary to improve service responses and to focus on healing and recovery.

Using national survey data of the workforce, and in-depth qualitative data with victims and survivors of IPV and SV, and perpetrators of IPV and SV, the Transforming responses to intimate partner and sexual violence: Listening to the voices of victims, perpetrators and services research project builds an evidence base to improve system responses.

This webinar features a panel discussion amongst the report’s researchers, experts with lived experience and practitioners from across the DFV sector. The discussion is critical to anyone working in policy and practice in IPV and SV across the various sectors of health, justice and specialist services. It shares what was heard about known issues, such as a fragmented and siloed services system, and the potential opportunities to transform services responses from circular and ineffective to those that are safe, innovative and meet the needs of victims and survivors as well as those who use violence.


Project leads

Dr Kelsey Hegarty, University of Melbourne

Research team

Associate Professor Dr Laura Tarzia, University of Melbourne

Dr Kristin Diemer, University of Melbourne

Dr Minerva Kyei-Onanijiri, University of Melbourne

Dr Mandy McKenzie, University of Melbourne

Matt Addison, University of Melbourne

Jacqueline Kuruppu, University of Melbourne

Dr Maria Koleth, ANROWS

Dr Patricia Cullen, University of NSW

Associate Professor Dominiek Coates, ANROWS

Research partners

This research included a project advisory committee comprising the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, No to Violence, WA Health, the WEAVERS group, the University of Melbourne, the National Association of Services against Sexual Violence, the Queensland Department of Justice, Settlement Services International, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, ACON’s Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Team, the WA Department of Communities, and the Office for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence.

See also

Media release

“Carrying the burden alone”: Victims and survivors speak up about what inhibits healing and recovery from violence

Find out more

Media release

Study to look at abuse survivor and perpetrator experiences

Find out more


$593,154 (excl. GST)

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