Funding research to stop violence against women

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The Federal Government has recently announced the allocation of $3.5m to fund further research about projects aimed to reduce violence against women and their children. The funding come from Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) 2014 – 2016 Research Program. ANROWS is jointly funded by all Governments under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010-2022.

The research conducted by ANROWS will aid in informing how best to support communities to prevent and reduce violence against women and their children. Kevin Andrews, Minister for Social Services, when announcing the research funding said that the program would help to identify ways to reduce the prevalence of domestic, family and sexual violence and its impact on women and their children. It is intended that the research would be utilised by Government service providers to improve the primary prevention campaigns and deliver better responses to violence in our community.

As part of the implementation of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a national data collection and reporting framework to improve the evidence base for action against family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia. Once the national data collection and reporting framework is in place, it is expected that researchers would be able to:

1. Better identify common characteristics of family and domestic violence events;

2. Create demographic and economic profiles of family relationships and the nature of the violence and the frequency of events;

3. Assess outcomes, including Court proceedings, medical intervention and access to other support services (such as housing assistance).

The findings of the 2013 National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Survey (conducted by VicHealth), found that:

1. The majority of Australians have a good knowledge of violence against women, and do not endorse attitudes supportive of that violence;

2. Some specific areas of research had shown a deterioration in attitudes since the last survey in 2009;

3. Young people’s attitudes to violence against women remains an area of concern with young people having a more “violence supportive” attitude than others.

Di Simpson is a Partner of DDCS Lawyers, 18 Kendall Lane, NewActon, Canberra ACT 2601 and can be contacted on (02) 6212 7600 or by email at family@ddcslawyers.com.au.

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