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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.


Defining and responding to coercive control: Policy brief

This policy brief is designed to assist policymakers developing legal or policy and practice frameworks to prevent or respond to coercive control in relation to domestic and family violence.

While much of the contemporary focus has been upon criminalisation, this paper identifies three interlinked considerations that are key to effectively addressing coercive control.

Key considerations
  • The need for a consistent definition of coercive control and of domestic and family violence across legislative and policy settings, Australia-wide.
  • The importance of building the evidence base on the effectiveness of criminalisation and other responses to coercive control, including unintended consequences.
  • The need to reform the culture of response to domestic and family violence in and around the legal system and in other settings.



Suggested citation

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2021). Defining and responding to coercive control: Policy brief (ANROWS Insights, 01/2021). ANROWS.

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