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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.


Engaging men who use violence: Invitational narrative approaches
Key findings and future directions

This is an edited summary of key findings from ANROWS research Engaging men: Invitational-narrative approaches.

This qualitative research explored how invitational narrative ways of working successfully engage men and enable behavioural and attitudinal change. The study explored the historical and philosophical foundations of invitational narrative practice and the principles and skills that practitioners use in their work.


Key findings

  • Invitational narrative approaches seek to create change that is self-generated and personally meaningful, and therefore likely to be sustainable.
  • A strength of invitational narrative approaches is their capacity to engage men who use violence. Invitational narrative approaches achieve this through: Curious inquiry.
    • Supporting men to explore and articulate their “ethical preferences”—how they wish to live.
    • Supporting men to identify what restrains them from living in accordance with their ethical preferences.
    • Creating an environment that is non-judgemental and safe in which men can experience their shame.
  • Invitational narrative approaches maintain an unrelenting focus on women and children’s safety and on men’s accountability to others.

Implications for practice

  • Invitational narrative practitioners must be highly skilled.
  • Invitational narrative approaches are readily adaptable to different intervention contexts.
  • Engaging with women provides valuable perspectives on men’s progress as well as on women’s and children’s safety.



Publication details

ANROWS Research to policy and practice papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.



Suggested citation

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2019). Engaging men who use violence: Invitational narrative approaches (Research to Policy and Practice, 05/2019). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS.

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