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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.

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ANROWS host activities as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.

ANROWS

About ANROWS

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.

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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.


RESEARCH REPORT

“A deep wound under my heart”: Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence

This project sought to develop a comprehensive picture of how complex trauma is being constructed in public policy and practice, and how it is viewed by women with experiences of complex trauma.

The research took the form of a multi-method study that combined policy and service analysis with qualitative research with women with experiences of complex trauma and the professionals who work with them, via:

  • a policy audit of approaches to complex trauma
  • service documentary analysis and qualitative interviews with professionals in Queensland and New South Wales
  • qualitative interviews with women with experiences of complex trauma in Queensland and New South Wales
  • online workshops in which professional stakeholders and women with experiences of complex trauma provided feedback on the findings of the study.

The research found that at the policy level, complex trauma overlaps with frameworks on violence against women and mental health. However, the impact of complex trauma is not comprehensively addressed by these frameworks, which contributes to the fragmented response to women in distress. It demonstrated that there is a strong need for a whole-of-government commitment to the implementation and coordination of trauma-informed practice across sectors.

The report includes recommendations for policy and practice.

 

 

Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS Research reports series. ANROWS Research reports (Horizons) are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.


Authors

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MICHAEL SALTER
School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales

DR ELIZABETH CONROY
Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MOLLY DRAGIEWICZ
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University

DR JACKIE BURKE
Jackie Burke Psychology and Consulting

PROFESSOR JANE USSHER
Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University

PROFESSOR WARWICK MIDDLETON
Trauma & Dissociation Unit, Belmont Hospital

DR SHERYLE VILENICA
Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University

DR BEATRIZ MARTIN MONZON
Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University

DR KYJA NOACK-LUNDBERG
Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University


ISBN: 978-1-925925-44-9 (print) | 978-1-925925-43-2 (online)

158 pp.

 

Suggested citation

Salter, M., Conroy, E., Dragiewicz, M., Burke, J., Ussher, J., Middleton, W., Vilenica, S., Martin Monzon, B., & Noack-Lundberg, K.(2020). “A deep wound under my heart”: Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence (Research report, 12/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.

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