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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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Research report

Young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women

The focus of this research is young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women. This reflects the origins of R4Respect as primarily a domestic violence prevention program.

The primary aims of this research are to assess the impact of the R4Respect respectful relationships peer education model in:

  • improving the understanding young people have of respectful relationships and gender equality in order to contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of violence against women and girls in the long term; utilising peer educators to engage young people in respectful relationships education; and
  • positioning young people at the centre of the research process through a participatory action research approach.

In order to pursue these aims, two main research questions are explored in this research, as follows:

  • Do peer educators in the R4Respect program have a positive impact on the awareness and attitudes young people have of what constitutes respect in relationships?
  • What features of the R4Respect program have a positive impact, and how can the program be improved to enhance positive impact?


Publication details

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


School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University

Research Officer, YFS Ltd

Leneen Forde Chair of Child and Family Research, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University


ISBN: 978-1-925925-03-6 (print) | 978-1-925925-04-3 (online)

107 pp.


Suggested citation

Suggested citation:

Struthers, K., Parmenter, N., & Tilbury, C. (2019). Young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women Research report, 02/2019). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS.

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