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Our research

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.


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.


The Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence

This submission applies both ANROWS and external research to the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service (QPS) responses to domestic and family violence (DFV).

The submission utilises an ANROWS policy brief, Defining and responding to coercive control: Policy brief, and an ANROWS research report entitled Accurately identifying the “person most in need of protection” in domestic and family violence law. It highlights the way that cultural issues within police services can contribute to the overrepresentation of First Nations peoples in the criminal justice system.

The submission includes recommendations to improve outcomes for victims and survivors of DFV. These include professional development for QPS officers in relation to the barriers First Nations peoples face when accessing justice, the impact of trauma, and the misidentification of First Nations women as primary aggressors. It highlights a need for all police to be able to accurately identify the person most in need of protection, including the ability to identify patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour.

The submission recommended QPS:

  • create or commission a tool to help police assess patterns of coercive control that would detect which party is the perpetrator, and which party is using violent resistance to ongoing abuse
  • continue to use a co-responder model as widely as possible to ensure frontline police have the technical expertise to identify who is the primary aggressor, particularly in situations where women have used resistive or retaliatory violence
  • train officers in the historic and systemic issues around the impact of intergenerational trauma and the criminalisation of First Nations peoples and equip them with trauma-specific intervention skills
  • ensure officers are resourced with sufficient time when engaging with First Nations communities to build trust through non-traumatic interactions leading to improved efficacy of policing systems within these communities
  • consider developing recruitment and retention strategies to increase the number of First Nations officers, particularly women officers, including in specialist DFV coordinator roles
  • take a whole-of-family approach to reducing DFV for First Nations peoples, which includes having strategies in place that ensure the service is accessible, relevant and available to First Nations women experiencing violence
  • support the creation and ongoing success of First Nations-designed and -led alternatives to justice, including the Koori Court, to equip police with alternative solutions when DFV occurs
  • consider utilising a social entrapment framework in the development of a tool to help police investigate DFV and recognise coercive control
  • continue to strengthen its comprehensive cultural awareness training and have a clear understanding of when community-led organisations should be engaged with when investigating DFV in First Nations communities
  • utilise education strategies and trauma-informed practice guidance such as the accredited training recently developed by Monash University that is under evaluation at ANROWS
    be resourced and provided with regular professional development opportunities on the impact of trauma and complex trauma.

This submission builds on ANROWS’s previous submission for the Options for legislation against coercive control and the creation of a standalone domestic violence offence, made in July 2021.


Suggested citation

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2015). Using a trauma-and-violence-informed framework in practice [Fact sheet]. ANROWS.

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