In this section:

Research on Fourth Action Plan priorities

Responsible government

  • Commonwealth

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 19 Build the evidence base to inform responses to domestic, family and sexual violence by strengthening the focus on what works to reduce violence, improving data and supporting the Fourth Action Plan priorities.

What are we doing?

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) is managing a program of research to support an understanding of the Fourth Action Plan priorities and to help position ongoing investment in reducing violence against women and their children. The focus is on:

  • research and evidence to inform ongoing responses to reduce violence against women and their children
  • identifying ‘what works’, including scoping a ‘what works’ framework to support an assessment of the overall value of Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence initiatives.

Research and evidence projects will support the priorities of the Fourth Action Plan and associated research priorities:

  • primary prevention is key
  • perspectives and support needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • diverse lived experience and impacts, including experiences of sexual violence and sexual harassment
  • support and service system responses, including responses to sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The Commonwealth Government has provided ANROWS with $5.639 million between 2019–20 and 2021–22 to fund research and evidence projects. The commissioned projects currently underway include:

  • pathways to intimate partner homicide
  • compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders
  • technology-facilitated Abuse: Extent, nature and responses in the Australian community
  • a life course approach to determining the prevalence and impact of sexual violence in Australia: the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH)
  • transforming responses to intimate partner and sexual violence: Listening to the voices of victims, perpetrators and services
  • an exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing programs that respond to domestic and family violence and assault
  • respectful relationships education in secondary schools: A statistical social network analysis of a program intervention designed to build positive gender-related attitudes and respectful peer relationships in Australian schools
  • an update to the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network Data Report 2018
  • the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on experiences of intimate partner violence among Australian women.

Further information on the development of the ‘what works’ framework and the other research projects underway is available at:

The Commonwealth Government has also provided ANROWS with additional funding to deliver research projects into sexual harassment (2021-22 to 2023-24). This is in response to Recommendation 4 of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2020 report Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces.

The work complements ANROWS other work on the core grant program and the 2021 wave of the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS).

The funding under the Fourth Action Plan is in addition to the $3.4 million core funding jointly provided to ANROWS by the Commonwealth Government and all state and territory governments each year under the Fourth Action Plan.

What have we achieved so far?

What is next?

  • The ongoing development of the ‘what works’ framework.
  • Progressing the high impact research projects and continuing to release research reports publicly to share research findings and build the evidence base.
  • The development of research projects into sexual harassment.

What difference will we make?

Intended outcomes of this work are a targeted contribution to building the evidence base.

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