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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.


Trauma-related pathways into adolescent family violence use

Project length
3 years

Violence used by adolescents in their homes and intimate relationships is concerningly common in Australia and is a major social justice and public health challenge.

Violence used by adolescents detrimentally affects the wellbeing of families, dating partners, and the young people themselves.

While previous ANROWS research has examined the prevalence of adolescent family violence (AFV), we need more evidence on pathways into young people’s use of violence, particularly the influence of childhood maltreatment and trauma.

Research aims

This project aims to develop new insights into trauma-related pathways into AFV, combining comprehensive data and firsthand accounts to inform effective prevention and intervention strategies.


The project takes a mixed-methods approach, featuring:

  • A quantitative study: using existing linked administrative data to undertake the first population-based prospective longitudinal analysis of the pathways from childhood maltreatment to AFV.
  • A qualitative study: featuring the co-creation of an integrated and trauma-informed explanatory framework of AFV through in-depth semi-structured interviews with young people who have engaged in these behaviours, to inform interventions to reduce these behaviours.


The quantitative research will guide policy on resource allocation to prevent AFV in children who have experienced violence and trauma. The qualitative research will generate a framework to support young people to recognise and change their behaviour.

This study will offer a practical approach to understanding and addressing AFV, identifying intervention opportunities to safeguard all involved.


Project lead

Dr Nina Papalia, Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Forensic Psychology and ARC DECRA Fellow, Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology and Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare)

Research team

Associate Professor Susan Baidawi, Associate Professor in Social Work & Co-Director of Criminal Justice Research Consortium, Social Work Department, Monash University

Dr Georgina Dimopoulos, Senior Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, Southern Cross University

Dr Benjamin Spivak, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology and Forensicare

Associate Professor Andrew Peters, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology

Dr Melanie Simmons, Chief Psychology Officer, Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety, and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology and Forensicare

Professor Troy McEwan, Professor of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology and Senior Clinical Forensic Psychologist, Forensicare


 $235,501 (excluding GST)

This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

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