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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.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Knowledge transfer and exchange

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.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Knowledge translation resources

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 SUMMARY

Improving accountability:
The role of perpetrator intervention systems. Key findings and future directions

This is an edited summary of key findings from ANROWS research Improved accountability – the role of perpetrator intervention systems.

This project comprised ten research studies that examined Australian perpetrator intervention systems. The studies focused on the most common pathways of identification, assessment and intervention with perpetrators and examined how the engagement and retention of perpetrators within systems can be enhanced.

IN BRIEF
Background
  • Perpetrator accountability is stated as a key aim in many domestic and family violence policies. However, there is little agreement on what this means or how it might be achieved.
  • A wide range of human services agencies engage with perpetrators of domestic violence, however they do not necessarily identify these individuals as perpetrators of violence, and when they do they do not necessarily know how to respond appropriately.
  • The ANROWS research report Improved accountability: The role of perpetrator intervention systems comprises ten research studies that examined Australian perpetrator intervention systems, focusing in particular on the most common pathways of identification, assessment and intervention with perpetrators.
Key findings
  • Accountability can take different forms. These different forms may not align, and may even conflict with each other.
  • There is much opportunity for human services agencies to play a role in identifying and responding to perpetrators.
  • Men’s behaviour change programs (MBCPs) play a key role in supporting men to reduce their use of violence. High expectations are placed upon these programs, while their role in monitoring risk and providing partner support is often undervalued.
  • There are limited and inconsistent consequences for men who disengage from programs or otherwise breach orders.
Key recommendations
  • Broaden the conception of perpetrator intervention systems to include a wide range of human services agencies. This will increase capacity across systems to identify perpetrators and to manage risk earlier.
  • Assess suitability for referral to MBCPs before mandating attendance.
  • Trial a national minimum data set for MBCPs. This will allow the creation of a national database to support an evidence-informed approach to future program development.
    Consider other forms of perpetrator intervention beyond group-based MBCPs.

 

 

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). Improving accountability: The role of perpetrator intervention systems: Key findings and future directions (Research to policy and practice, 20/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.

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