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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.


Good practice in responding to young people with harmful sexual behaviours: Key findings and future directions

This is an edited summary of key findings from ANROWS research “Good practice in delivering and evaluating interventions for young people with harmful sexual behaviours”.

Young people account for a significant proportion of individuals engaging in unwanted or harmful sexual behaviours against children. Many young people who engage in harmful sexual behaviours have their own history of childhood trauma, including exposure to domestic and family violence.

These young people require holistic interventions that involve specialist services and multiple partner agencies.

Key findings
  • There are variations and gaps in services for young people with harmful sexual behaviours, and information about service availability is not readily accessible.
  • Specialist services operate in a complex environment that may make service provision challenging.
  • Good practice in intervention is underpinned by conceptual, therapeutic and enabling principles.
  • Factors in the broader service system may help or hinder good practice.
Key recommendations
  • A public repository of information about services available for young people with harmful sexual behaviours should be established.
  • Practitioners should apply the principles of good practice developed by the project to therapeutic work with young people with harmful sexual behaviours.
  • Funders should dedicate resources to collaborative research into tailoring therapeutic work to vulnerable young people.
  • Service systems design should support holistic interventions.



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. (2020). Good practice in responding to young people with harmful sexual behaviours: Key findings and future directions (Research to policy and practice, 18/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.

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