New national research program on violence against women and children

Friday, 31st October 2014

The Hon. Quentin Bryce will today launch a national research program on domestic, family and sexual violence.

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has produced its first research program to build knowledge on domestic, family and sexual violence.

Women with disabilities, immigrant and refugee women, women in rural areas and Australian Indigenous communities will be the focus of particular projects within the program.

ANROWS’s research program comprises 20 projects with a total value of $3.5 million. Projects vary in length and will be delivered at different points over the next two years.

Current research shows rates of violence against women and their children in Australia remain alarmingly high, and community attitudes on the issue are problematic.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey 2012 found one in five (19%) Australian women had been subjected to sexual violence and one in six (17%) had experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner.

The recent National Community Attitudes Survey 2013 found that attitudes and beliefs that contribute to violence against women are still prevalent in Australia.  One in five Australians still agree that a woman is partly responsible for rape if she is intoxicated, two-thirds (64%) believe violence against women is caused by some men being unable to control their anger and 43% believe men rape because they can’t control their need for sex.

Each project will address a key gap in current evidence on violence against women and their children. These gaps are identified in the National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children according to four main themes: experience and impacts of violence against women, gender inequality and prevention, effectiveness of service responses and interventions, and the impact of systems.

ANROWS Chair Emeritus Professor Anne Edwards said the research program would provide invaluable evidence to inform policy and practice to reduce violence against women and their children.

“This form of violence impacts on the lives of too many Australians. Outcomes of the research projects will support great work already being done on this issue and drive a coordinated and evidence-based response in the future.”

ANROWS CEO Heather Nancarrow said service providers, policy makers and researchers across Australia had an important role in the development of the research program.

“We are grateful for the expert advice we have received from across Australia. It has been crucial to the entire process, from developing the National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against women and their children and our current research priorities, to assessing grant applications and advising on large scale projects.”

“Many of the research projects see researchers and community organisations working together to produce innovative and relevant research. It’s exciting to see goodwill from so many organisations but it will be even better to see the results of their research,” Ms Nancarrow said.

Full details on the research program

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