Violence Prevention Studies

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The NSW Government has invested $620,000 to strengthen the evidence base on preventing domestic and family violence through funding three major violence prevention studies.

The reports review current literature and interventions, and provide recommendations to guide the development of new and enhanced violence prevention initiatives. Abstracts of the reports have been provided by the researchers.

The studies were announced by the Minister for Women, Pru Goward MP, on 14 July 2013. The reports were released on 20 August 2014.

Study 1 abstract: Men and boys violence prevention
FACS commissioned a team of researchers from the University of Western Sydney to review current approaches across Australia that involve men and boys in the prevention of violence against women. The study assessed the effectiveness of current approaches, strategies and projects, the characteristics of good practice and the areas that need to be developed to effectively engage men and boys in primary prevention. The findings indicate that while there is significant interest among stakeholders to work with men and boys, the field is at a very early stage of development. The most promising areas of practice use a multi-systemic approach. These include engaging men and boys via a community strengthening and development model where programs are one part of organisational or workforce development. Two programs are identified that use these approaches and recognise the importance of: a gendered analysis of violence against women, close relationships to organisations with expertise in violence against women, and a focus on work specifically with men or boys.
Read the executive summary
Read the full report

Study 2 abstract: Groups and communities at-risk of domestic and family violence
FACS commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies to review domestic and family violence (DFV) prevention and early intervention activities aimed at several groups identified as being at greater risk of experiencing DFV and/or having difficulty accessing support services. These groups include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD), people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ), young women and women in regional, rural and remote (non-urban) communities. This report engages with current policy contexts and approaches to the prevention of DFV and assesses the available evidence about the effectiveness of prevention practices. This research has found there is extensive knowledge within the DFV service sector, and a strong commitment by those working in the sector to preventing DFV in the community. Services are working hard to deliver high-quality prevention and early intervention activities that meet the needs of their communities. There are several areas, however, where difficulties were identified. These include: a lack of rigorous evidence about effective prevention practices; structural issues such as a lack of a coherent policy framework in which to situate practice; and a lack of funding and ad hoc funding mechanisms.
Read the executive summary
Read the full report

Study 3 abstract: Children affected by domestic and family violence
FACS commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies to review domestic and family violence (DFV) prevention, early intervention and response strategies aimed at children aged 0–8 years. Research evidence is increasingly demonstrating the detrimental impact of DFV on young children. There is a need for further funding and support of post-crisis, therapeutic services for children that are child-centred and address the mother–child bond. This research found there is a limited number of prevention and early intervention activities that focus on this age group, and there are significant gaps in the evidence regarding the effectiveness of prevention and early intervention activities aimed at the 0–8 age group. There is an emerging evidence base and strong rationale for supporting school-based primary prevention programs for younger children that address the underlying causes of DFV. Building this evidence base is crucial if we are to address the impact of DFV on young children and prevent them being subject to it. To do this, a coherent policy framework is needed that enables service providers, policy-makers and researchers to work collaboratively and effectively.
Read the executive summary
Read the full report