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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 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

What works? Exploring the literature on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to family violence

This review is the first publication of the research project “An exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to domestic and family violence and sexual assault“. This project will map and analyse “what works” in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to domestic and family violence and sexual assault nationally. Employing a narrative approach, the authors have summarised knowledge from existing publications including both grey and black literature.

The review includes an overview of the family violence, trauma and healing literature before presenting evidence on what works for family violence programs and what works for healing. A strong preference for locally designed and led approaches was identified across both types of programs as was understanding, acknowledging, valuing and respecting culture. Consistent across many reviews and reports about family violence interventions was the preference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander frameworks and pathways to collective and family healing, rather than criminal justice interventions.

Research gaps identified in the review include:

  • understanding what works with healing programs that respond to family violence
  • the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQA+ and intersex peoples
  • the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with disability
  • understanding how programs engage with clients when face-to-face contact is not possible.

The findings from this review will inform the final report for this project which is due to be published in 2022.

 

 

Publication details

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


Authors

PROFESSOR BRONWYN CARLSON
Head of Department, Department of Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University

MADI DAY
Lecturer, Department of Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University

DR TERRI FARRELLY
Adjunct Fellow, Department of Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University


 

ISBN: 978-1-922645-00-5 (print) | 978-1-922645-01-2 (online)

31 pp.

 

Suggested citation

Carlson, B., Day, M., & Farrelly, T. (2021). What works? Exploring the literature on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to family violence (Research report, 01/2021). ANROWS.

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