Feeling unsafe? Find support services   emergency? call 000


Our research

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.


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.


Understanding the unique contribution of Catholic agencies to the prevention of and response to family violence


Caritas Australia (CA), Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) and Catholic Health Australia (CHA) have members and partners who work to prevent and respond to family violence in Australia and overseas. CA, CSSA and CHA are collaborating for the first time on this issue and are seeking to understand the unique contribution of Catholic agencies to the prevention of and response to family violence, including in a COVID-19 context. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have exacerbated the issue of family violence and highlighted existing and new gaps in support. A better understanding of the contribution Catholic agencies make to this important issue will lead to increased synergies between Catholic agencies and ultimately to the increased impact of Catholic agencies towards ending family violence. It will help guide CA, CSSA and CHA to advocate on the issue and, subsequently, achieve greater prevention and response measures both in Australia and overseas. Committed to informing a Catholic response to the issue, the project affirms Pope Francis’ declaration that “Violence against women cannot be treated as ‘normal,’ maintaining a culture of machismo blind to the leading role that women play in our communities … It is not right for us to look the other way and let the dignity of so many women, especially young women, be trampled upon.”


CA, CHA and CSSA aim to understand:
• the type and scale of work that their members and partners are undertaking to prevent and respond to family violence
• the key institutions that their members/partners work with to provide their services
• what aspects of their work are influenced by Catholic theology or Catholic-specific practices.


1. Review annual reports, websites and any other relevant program/service information provided by CA, CHA and/or CSSA.

2. Prepare an online mixed-methods survey of members and partners of CA, CSSA and CHA to collect qualitative and quantitative data to understand the type and scale of work that the organisations are undertaking to prevent and respond to family violence, and who their key partners are.

3. After they have completed the survey, collect data with the partners and members of CA, CSSA and CHA via online interviews to form between five and 10 case studies to further draw out common themes across their work that were identified from the survey.


The Australian Catholic University will produce a report that will:
  • document the type and level of work the members and partners of CA, CSSA and CHA undertake to prevent and respond to family violence
  • produce case studies to provide CA, CSSA and CHA with a deeper understanding of the contributions Catholic agencies have made to this issue
  • demonstrate the commonalities across the work of member and partner organisations
  • identify projects and themes that begin to speak to the unique contribution of Catholic agencies to this issue
  • identify potential synergies and areas of collaboration between members and partners
  • identify areas for further research on this topic and give recommendations about how the research could be applied in a policy and advocacy context.

Funding Body

Australian Catholic University

Project start date

June 2021

Expected completion date

January 2023
Back to top