Advocacy for safety and empowerment: Good practice and innovative approaches with Aboriginal women experiencing family and domestic violence in remote and regional Australia.

Project Summary

Over past decades there has been much debate about ways of supporting victims of family and domestic violence, especially of Aboriginal women in remote and regional areas.

This research seeks to explore the challenges in partnership with three community-based, women’s specialist services that are long established in their communities, and are influenced by the politics of self-determination, identity and empowerment.

 Using participatory methodology the project asks how remote and regional women’s organisations that serve Indigenous populations have learned lessons and thrived. It focuses on three key service challenges: outreach, advocacy, and safety planning. It explores the ways services respond to the culturally and context specific needs of Aboriginal women, with what priorities, under what conditions, and with what success criteria? It also explores how and in what ways have Indigenous women themselves (as workers, clients and community members) acted to shape and influence the approaches of women’s specialist services.

In co-developing and testing methods for monitoring and evaluation, the project will produce practical resources for regional and remote family and domestic violence services, and ultimately improve responses and support for Aboriginal women and their children.

This project provides evidence to improve services for Aboriginal women who have experienced family and domestic violence.


Principal chief investigator:

Dr Judy Putt, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, University of New England. 

Chief investigator:

Dr Robyn Holder, Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice & Governance, Griffith University.

Research partners / team members:

Ms Diane Gipey/Ms Dale Wakefield, Coordinator, Alice Springs Women’s Shelter (ASWS).

Ms Andrea Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council Family and Domestic Violence Service (NPYWC FDVS).

Ms Mirjana Wilson, Executive Director, ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS)


Women’s specialist domestic and family violence services: Their responses and practices with and for Aboriginal women: Key findings and future directions

Women’s specialist domestic and family violence services: Their responses and practices with and for Aboriginal women: Final report

Advocacy for safety and empowerment: State of knowledge paper

The following resources have been supplied by the researchers to provide further information about the services studied during the research project.

Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytajatjara Women’s Council’s Domestic and Family Violence Service: a history and overview

Domestic Violence Crisis Service (ACT): a history and overview

Alice Springs Women’s Shelter: a history and overview


ANROWS Inaugural National Research Conference 2016

Estimated end date: 
This project is due to be completed in December 2016.


$245,000 (approx.)