Feeling unsafe? Find support services   emergency? call 000


What are you looking for?


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 host events as part of its knowledge translation and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS, and stakeholder events, along with sector news is 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.

Safer Pathways for CALD Women

The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Projects with Action Research (CALD PAR) initiative is funded by the Department of Social Services and continues until November 2019.

Through this initiative, ANROWS is assisting 26 organisations across Australia to apply an action research approach to their projects that work with culturally and linguistically diverse CALD communities on issues of family and domestic violence. This approach supports organisations to collect valuable information during the life of the project, evaluate the effectiveness of their activities and share findings and lessons for future practice.

Below are the project summaries of the eight projects aim to create safer pathways for women and their children to access mainstream crisis and support services. Eighteen projects are focusing on the prevention of violence against women and their children in local communities.

Safer Pathways for CALD Women

Building Links Empowering South Sudanese (BLESS)

Project Name Building Links Empowering South Sudanese (BLESS)
Organisation CatholicCare Social Services
Website www.catholiccare.services
Key Contact Name Hannah Belesky
Phone Number 1300 477 433
Email hbelesky@catholiccare.services
CALD communities South Sudanese.
Geographic location Toowoomba, Queensland.
Key partnerships South Sudanese Community Association; and Domestic Violence Action Centre (DVAC).
Project duration
Project activities – key words Community consultations; domestic and family violence training; engaging community leaders and respected persons; community awareness education; building community pathways into domestic and family violence services.
Project Summary BLESS was inspired by the respected South Sudanese tradition of community-based conciliation. Co-designed by the Toowoomba’s large South Sudanese community, the project aims to equip, empower and strengthen women from this community who are at risk of or are experiencing domestic or family violence (DFV) or sexual assault, with safe, culturally appropriate, community-supported pathways to access community support and regional mainstream services.

Designed by the South Sudanese community, CatholicCare and Toowoomba’s Refugee and Migrant Support (TRAMS) service, the project framework integrates community-based primary prevention activities that enable the community to effectively respond to violence against its women and children, culturally appropriate early intervention measures and culturally sensitive approaches to the provision of crisis support. The project’s design and delivery partners include Toowoomba’s local government, agencies, police, and key mainstream social and support services.

Action Research A number of action research methods are used throughout this project. At the beginning of the project, data from focus groups and community consultations along with data on South Sudanese community attitudes towards violence against women will be collected.

The attitudes and culturally sensitive practices of key stakeholders and DFV services will be mapped using cultural competency needs analysis, regular meetings and staff exchange. Community awareness and education on DFV will be evaluated through client feedback questionnaires.

The South Sudanese community and key stakeholders will design and implement new culturally sensitive pathways for South Sudanese women to access support for DFV issues.

Safer Pathways for CALD Women

Project Name Safer Pathways for CALD Women
Organisation George Street Neighbourhood Centre Association Inc.
Website http://georgestreetnc.com
Key Contact Name Valeriya Edsall
Phone Number (07) 4957 2626 or 0400 788 218
Email valeriyae@georgestreetnc.org.au
CALD communities CALD Women from several communities.
Geographic location Mackay, Queensland.
Key partnerships Mackay Women’s Services; and Domestic Violence Resource Service (DVRS Mackay).
Project duration 1 October 2017 – 30 November 2019
Project activities – key words Improving referral pathways; establishing a support group; raising community awareness; conducting training within the CALD communities.
Project Summary The Safer Pathways for CALD Women program aims to help CALD women living in the Mackay region who are experiencing or are at risk of domestic and family violence or sexual assault, to access the support that they need. The program’s focus is on connecting with the CALD communities of Mackay to educate them about respectful relationships and domestic and family violence, to improve referral pathways to DVRS Mackay and Mackay Women’s Service and to seek feedback on what barriers prevent CALD women from accessing support.

Safer Pathways for CALD Women includes:

  • “Life with Boundaries” support group for CALD women to assist them to address the impact of domestic and family violence. The group meets once a month.
  • A series of workshops and a toolkit for CALD women to equip them with skills and knowledge about their rights and how to stay safe, as well as to provide information about the support and services available.
  • Community education and engaging CALD volunteers to raise awareness about domestic and family violence in their communities.
Action Research Safer Pathways for CALD Women is planning to use questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with CALD participants and community members, as the main methods of collecting data. The program will also rely on observation and will incorporate stakeholders’ feedback into its evaluation.

Safer Pathways for CALD Women

Project Name Safer Pathways for CALD Women
Organisation Townsville Multicultural Support Group Inc.
Website www.tmsg.org.au
Key Contact Name Tahlia Briggs
Phone Number (07) 4775 1588
Email tahliabriggs@tmsg.org.au
CALD communities Somali, Congolese, Rwandan, Bhutanese, Burmese, South and/ or East Asian communities; and groups that share an Arabic–speaking background.
Geographic location Townsville, Queensland.
Key partnerships North Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Service (NQDVRS); The Women’s Centre; Townsville Multicultural Support Group (TMSG); and Townsville Intercultural Centre (TIC).
Project duration November 2017 – November 2019
Project activities – key words Activities promoting human rights; women’s rights and children’s rights; collaboration; improved referral pathways; training; education; safety; barrier mapping; sustainability.
Project Summary This project is based on research that the Townsville Multicultural Support Group (TMSG) undertook with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), which explored how misinterpretations of human rights by men and women of CALD communities influence women’s safety. From this research, materials were developed in eight languages as a response to the frustration reported by many refugee and migrant communities who find the laws and rights relating to family life in Australia confusing and challenging.

Through this program, we will support CALD women and men that are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, family and domestic violence, to be informed and to be able to access the support that they need. This will occur through:

  1. the delivery of a Human Rights Train the Trainer program based on the resources developed by UNSW and delivered by members of each CALD community that will be employed and trained by TMSG;
  2. a worker exchange between TMSG and DV and family support services;
  3. delivery of community forums and service provider training; and
  4. engagement in action research with ANROWS.


This project will explore how understandings of human rights influence settlement in Australia and will provide educational opportunities to CALD communities and service providers to address:

  • barriers encountered by CALD people who have/are experiencing domestic and family violence when they attempt to access services; and
  • difficulties/unconscious biases that community organisations may experience in engaging with CALD people, which include, but are not limited to, how to be more culturally and linguistically responsive.
Action Research Action research methods that will be used throughout this project include:

  • the collection of participant data; feedback from the community human rights trainers and from participants after each session;
  • reports from the trainers that will include discussions and observations from each session;
  • follow-up phone interviews with trainers; and
  • follow-up interviews with a random sampling of participants from each cultural/language group.

All sessions and interviews will be conducted with interpreters/bilingual support workers and will be recorded.

Additionally, feedback from community forums, service provider workshops and anecdotal evidence from local domestic and family violence services in Townsville will be documented, as well as the recruitment process of the community trainers, including notes from their interviews and answers to selection criteria questions.

Safer Pathways for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women: Capricornia Families are Everyone’s Business

Project Name Safer Pathways for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women: Capricornia Families are Everyone’s Business
Organisation Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours
Website www.win-australia.org.au
Key Contact Name Natalia Muszkat
Phone Number 0423 177 411
Email contact@win-australia.org.au
CALD communities All CALD communities.
Geographic location Rockhampton, Queensland.
Key partnerships Relationships Australia; Rockhampton Police; Queensland Police Service; Girls Time Out; Uniting Care Communities; Central Queensland University; Legal Aid; Family Relationship Centre; Centacare; The Umbrella Network; Lifeline; Chinese Association; CQ African Association; CQ Indian Association; and CQ Islamic Association.
Project duration October 2017 – November 2019
Project activities – key words Interactive information sessions; raising community awareness about healthy relationships and domestic violence; raising awareness of domestic violence (DV) services; improving referral pathways.
Project Summary The aim of the project is to maximise opportunities for CALD women in Rockhampton to receive educational information and resources about domestic and family violence issues, causes and consequences.

Project officers will engage with domestic and family violence services, local CALD communities and services that CALD communities use, to raise awareness of domestic and family violence, improve access to supports and services, provide direct referrals for women to domestic violence services and promote CALD community leaders’ support of healthy and respectful family relationships in a public campaign.

Information will be provided by holding group information sessions for CALD women and local ethnic groups, thereby increasing awareness through mediums such as: social media and conventional media streams (radio/newspaper); promoting services and information at local events through stalls and displays; and engaging with community and CALD stakeholders to provide referrals to the service.

Action Research The likely methods of data collection and analysis will be feedback questionnaires taken before/after information sessions; analysing partnership connections and providing a project story to present findings of the activities and findings of the Building Safer Pathways for CALD Women: Capricornia Families are Everybody’s Business project.

Ask Maria

Project Name Ask Maria
Organisation Women’s Legal Service (SA)
Website www.wlssa.org.au
Key Contact Name CEO: Zita Ngor
Project Officer: Chloe Fragos
Phone Number (08) 8231 8929
Email zita@wlssa.org.au
CALD communities CALD women in regional areas of South Australia – cultural groups will vary from region to region.
Geographic location Limestone Coast; Eyre Peninsula and South West; Murray and Mallee; and Adelaide Hills.
Key partnerships Multicultural Aged Care; Regional Domestic Violence Services; Local councils; South Australia Police; Rural and Remote Health Services; Adelaide Multicultural Resource Centre; Drug and alcohol services; Centacare; Migrant Women’s Lobby Group; ANROWS; Red Cross; Yarredi Services; Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service; Victim Support Service (SA); STTARS; Migrant Women’s Support Group; and RASA.
Project duration November 2017 – November 2019
Project activities – key words Community consultations; improving access to services; improving knowledge of services; collating information; linking in services; service workshops.
Project Summary Ask Maria will be an online interactive resource (app/website) for diverse groups, specifically women and their children, in four regional areas for South Australia. The aim of the project is to help CALD women living in regional areas that are experiencing, or at risk of, family and domestic violence or sexual assault, to access the support they need. The project will be available in both written and audio forms in the languages identified in the regions. This will reduce language barriers for women in accessing services and getting the support they need.

The project simultaneously aims to improve the practices of mainstream service providers to be culturally safe for CALD women and better meet their needs. This will be achieved through an online secured page for service provider members and will host written information, case studies and webinars.

Action Research Community consultations will be used to collate women’s concerns and what they would like to be better informed about. This will occur through open dialogue and organic conversation with women in circle meetings. Opportunities will also be given for women to confidentially offer suggestions/feedback by way of a suggestion box.

With our service provider partners, we will be sending out practice surveys and collating information through feedback, correspondence and meetings.

Safer Pathways for Refugee and Immigrant Women, Ballarat and Western Victoria

Project Name Safer Pathways for Refugee and Immigrant Women, Ballarat and Western Victoria
Organisation Ballarat Community Health
Website https://bchc.org.au
Key Contact Name Lesley McKarney
Phone Number (03) 5338 9156
Email lesleym@bchc.org.au
CALD communities Various.
Geographic location Ballarat, Horsham and Nhill, Victoria.
Key partnerships Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee; Victoria Police; City of Ballarat Council; Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council; Centre for Multicultural Youth; Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health; and Grampians Community Health.
Project duration November 2017 – November 2019
Project activities – key words Raising community awareness; conducting training; developing resources; needs assessment; improving referral pathways; improving responses.
Project Summary The Safer Pathways for Refugee and Immigrant Women (Safer Pathways) project is a consortium of Ballarat-based family violence and sexual assault services, and key organisations working with people from refugee and immigrant backgrounds, in Ballarat. The project is being led by Ballarat Community Health, with the Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee having ultimate oversight of the project. The main aim of the project is to enable refugee and immigrant women who are experiencing (or are at risk of) family and domestic violence or sexual assault, to access culturally appropriate support from mainstream family and domestic violence or sexual assault services in regional areas.

This will be achieved by: empowering the women with knowledge and understanding of Australian laws, rights and cultural norms in relation to family violence and sexual assault; building up skills in identifying and responding to family violence in culturally and linguistically diverse communities; contributing to an understanding of referral pathways in immigrant and refugee specific organisations and mainstream health providers working with refugee and immigrant women; and supporting family violence and sexual assault services to provide culturally appropriate, respectful and flexible service responses when needed.

Enhancing the accessibility and delivery of culturally appropriate family violence and sexual assault support services requires a strategy that is implemented at the individual, community, practitioner and service levels in order to provide holistic support. The Safer Pathways project will, therefore, work closely with two other related projects in the region – the It Takes Courage project run by Women’s Health Grampians, and the Making the Links – Building Safer Pathways for CALD Women in Regional Victoria project run by Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health. This aims to maximise resources and outcomes, and, most importantly, build strong and sustainable service pathways for multicultural community members and service providers.

Action Research The project will reach out to community members in a number of ways, for example: forums with refugee and immigrant community members; organised community days; one-on-one conversations; and through well-established multicultural and ethnic groups in Ballarat (such as the It Takes Courage group, Ballarat African Association, Girls Space and Sisters for Life). Activities to be conducted with community members may include: photo stories, group discussions about family violence, written material, public workshops and organised social events.

We will also explore creating a peer support network for refugee and immigrant women. Peer support mentors would be an important component of a sustainability plan and a way to have ongoing interactions within refugee and immigrant communities about referral pathways and processes, and to empower women (and girls) with options and support available to them. We would endeavour to train one or more CALD women from different cultural backgrounds to act as peer support mentors in the community, to inspire hope and demonstrate the possibility of recovery through respect and shared responsibility.

Focus groups, online surveys, questionnaires and feedback about events and activities are the primary research methods that will be used. Interviews and an analysis of partnerships and collaboration outcomes will also contribute to the action research in this project.

The Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee and the Ballarat Regional Settlement Advocacy Committee are ready-made platforms for accessing family violence and sexual assault services in Ballarat. These platforms help to assess current local needs around providing culturally appropriate responses (cultural fitness), and ultimately, provide them with tailored training through workshops, group discussions, written/online material and inter-professional simulated learning programs. We will also access mainstream services (e.g. police, hospital, GPs, practice nurses, pharmacists and maternal and child health workers) either directly or through the local Primary Health Network, and use a similar approach to needs assessment and training.

Making the Links – Building Safer Pathways for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women in Regional Victoria

Project Name Making the Links – Building Safer Pathways for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women in Regional Victoria
Organisation Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH)
Website http://www.mcwh.com.au/
Key Contact Name Hope Mathumbu and Joyce Jiang
Phone Number (03) 9418 0999
Email hope@mcwh.com.au | Joycej@mcwh.com.au
CALD communities Several CALD communities in regional Victoria.
Geographic location MCWH is located in Collingwood, Victoria and the project is implemented in: Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Mildura and Swan Hill.
Key partnerships Ballarat Community Health Centre; Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council; Bendigo Community Health Service; inTouch – Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence; Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Service; Mallee Family Care; Mallee Sexual Assault Unit- Mallee Domestic Violence Service; Swan Hill District Health; Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council; Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, and The Orange Door (Barwon Support & Safety Hub).
Project duration November 2017 – November 2020
Project activities – key words Service provider capacity building activities; training to MCWH’s bilingual health educator (BHE) team; in-language activities to immigrant and refugee women; developing safety protocol to provide culturally, providing psychological and physical support for immigrant and refugee women.
Project Summary Making the Links – Building Safer Pathways for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women in Regional Victoria project is an innovative and collaborative project that aims to help CALD women living in regional Victoria who are experiencing, or are at risk of, family and domestic violence or sexual assault, to access the support they need.

Making the Links has established a virtual advisory group, made up of service providers in five regional areas who work closely with immigrant and refugee communities. The project will adapt MCWH’s existing, successful cross-cultural training, in-language education training and resources. These resources will be tailored for CALD women and service providers who work with them across five Victorian local government areas (LGAs): Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Mildura and Swan Hill.

Action Research Making the Links has established a virtual advisory group, made up of service providers in four regional areas who work closely with immigrant and refugee communities. Support, advice and feedback from advisory group members to explore facilitators and barriers to working with immigrant and refugee communities on an individual, organisational and structural level, will inform a needs analysis in each region. The needs analysis will then inform service provider capacity building activities for the project.

Community activities with women from immigrant and refugee backgrounds will be facilitated by MCWH’s accredited bilingual health educators in-language (where applicable) over two visits. Ongoing evaluation will be conducted throughout the course of the project through: conversations with service providers, feedback from community members, reflections from bilingual health educators and survey methods. Project processes and findings will be regularly shared with stakeholders. Project plan revision and improved strategies for implementation of the project will be carried out if needed and in a timely manner.

Safer Pathways

Project Name Safer Pathways
Organisation Save the Children, Shepparton
Website www.savethechildren.org.au
Key Contact Name Belinda Anderson
Phone Number 0429 590 799
Email Belinda.anderson@savethechildren.org.au
CALD communities Afghan and South Sudanese communities.
Geographic location Shepparton, Victoria.
Key partnerships Uniting Settlement Services; Primary Care Connect – Community Health domestic violence and refugee services; and Victoria Police.
Project duration November 2017-November 2019
Project activities – key words Community consultation and awareness; improving organisational capacity and referral pathways.
Project Summary Safer Pathways aims to work in collaboration with communities to improve the understanding and awareness of triggers and drivers of violence in the home as well as ensuring communities have the knowledge and skills to deal with issues of violence when they arise.

It will also work with organisations to create systemic changes in the way that they work with CALD women, men and children to create safe places and options for women suffering violence.

Action Research The project will make use of interviews within community groups from a range of community members to gather information about attitudes and understandings. The Most Significant Change (MSC) method of evaluation will be incorporated, and there will also be feedback questionnaires from both organisations and community groups.
Back to top