Grants for Domestic Violence Perpetrator Intervention Research
Tuesday, 2nd February 2016 at 9:15 am
The national organisation for women’s safety research is calling for applications for grants funding to investigate domestic violence perpetrator interventions.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has a pool of $3 million from the Commonwealth Government to support the implementation of the National Outcome Standards for Perpetrator Interventions. Of that, ANROWS said it planned to provide more than $2 million of funding for projects.
ANROWS CEO Heather Nancarrow said that while research had been conducted in Australia on perpetrator interventions, it had been limited in scope, due to the difficult nature of the issue and a lack of available research funds.
“This is the first time there has been a dedicated pool of funding for research on perpetrator interventions,” Nancarrow said.
“Further research needs to focus on the meaning of success, the effectiveness of systems and interventions, and models of intervention that address diversity among perpetrators.
Nancarrow said the funding would help to build the evidence base on what works, for whom and under what conditions in perpetrator interventions.
“Through this work we will build a better and shared understanding of what it means to hold men who perpetrate violence against women to account, and how best to measure success in perpetrator interventions,” she said.
“An improved evidence base will also increase confidence in decision-making for policy-makers and practitioners as they design, fund and implement interventions to create the change we need.”
She said that perpetrators of family violence needed to be held accountable “at every point of contact in the system”, including police, courts, child protection services and specialist perpetrator programs.
“If the system fails to hold perpetrators accountable for their behaviour, it effectively colludes with perpetrators in sending to message to victims that they are powerless and worthless,” she said.
Nancarrow also said that perpetrator research was important in ending the cycle of violence, which often continued even if a victim leaves or seeks help.
“In the case of intimate partner violence, people often ask ‘why doesn’t she leave?’ Many women do leave violent partners but the violence doesn’t necessarily stop. In fact, violence often escalates, and women and children are at an elevated risk of being killed when attempting to leave a violent relationship,” she said.
“Even if the violence ceases after separation, it is likely that the perpetrator will enter a new relationship and perpetrate violence against the new partner.”
The grants funding forms the second stage of the government funded research. In the first stage of the program ANROWS produced a state of knowledge paper.
“We researched the current state of knowledge on perpetrator interventions in Australia, including mapping the pathways of domestic, family and sexual violence perpetrators through the legal system in every state and territory of Australia. This is the first time this mapping has been done,” Nancarrow said.
ANROWS said it would contract specialist research organisations to participate, but also encouraged applications from non-research organisations and practice or community-based organisations. More information can be found here.