• Home
  • Tag: Publication

Gallant, D., Andrews, S., Humphreys, C., Diemer, K., Ellis, D., Burton, J., & McIvor, R. (2017). Aboriginal men’s programs tackling family violence: A scoping review. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 20(2), 48-68.

Abstract: Academic and community research identifies that Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at a greater risk of being exposed to family violence than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. While much of the literature has had a clear focus on the protection of Aboriginal women and children, there is a dearth of research that has examined the nature and efficacy of Aboriginal programs that seek to address men’s use of violence. In recent times, governments, policy makers, and community organisations have all sought to gain a greater understanding of how men’s group programs, that are specifically aimed at tackling family violence, are addressing these issues.

Utilising a scoping review methodology, this paper examines and summarises the available Australian and international literature available pertaining to these programs. Furthermore, from the findings of the scoping review the authors present a conceptual model for the purpose of discussing the complexities of tackling family violence issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s group programs.

To view the original publication, click here

Researchers: Gallant, D., S. Andrews, C. Humphreys, K. Diemer, D. Ellis, J. Burton, W. Harrison, R. Briggs, C. Black, A. Bamblett, S. Torres-Carne and R. McIvor.

Year: 2017

Campo, M., & Humphreys, C. (2017). Fathers who use violence Options for safe practice where there is ongoing contact with children.

Abstract: Domestic and family violence (DFV) remains a chronic and destructive aspect of family life in Australia (Cox, 2015). Its pervasive reach into the lives of women and children creates fear, undermines health and wellbeing, is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children, and costs the community an estimated $21.6 billion (Our Watch, 2016; Price Waterhouse & Cooper, 2015). This paper responds to a challenge that has continued to frustrate workers attempting to intervene to support women and children living with DFV. The challenge that arises when women and children may not be in a position to separate from their abusive and violent partners, and when women and children’s wellbeing and safety may not be enhanced by separation. In particular, this paper is focused on fathers who use violence and whether there are strategies that engage and address the issues for children, women and men who are continuing to live with DFV.

To view the original publication, click here

Researchers: Humphreys, C. & Campo, M.

Year: 2017

Humphreys, C., Diemer, K., Bornemisza, A., Spiteri‐Staines, A., Kaspiew, R., & Horsfall, B. (2019). More present than absent: Men who use domestic violence and their fathering. Child & Family Social Work.

Abstract: An earlier article referred to the “absent presence” of the perpetrator in the lives of children and their mothers who have lived with domestic violence. It identified the ways in which the shadow of the perpetrator continued and was evidenced in the “symptoms of abuse” that both women and children experienced in spite of his absence. The current article argues that fathers who use violence are actually more present than absent in the lives of children (and women), even following separation. A mixed method approach surveyed men in Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (N = 101), and interviewed women who had experienced violence (N = 50). The studies reported that the majority of men in both the quantitative men’s study (80%) and the qualitative women’s study (77%) had substantial contact with children. The women’s interviews highlight the problematic fathering that many of their children experienced, both before and after separation. They reported very high levels of child abuse and poor attitudes to both women and children.

The article concludes that the family violence and child welfare systems are poorly configured to address fathers who use violence and continue to hold substantial parenting roles, including following separation.

To view the original publication, click here.

Researchers: Humphreys, C., Diemer, K., Bornemisza, A., Spiteri-Staines, A., Kaspiew, R. & Horsfall, B.

Year: 2018

Smith, J., & Humphreys, C. (2019). Child protection and fathering where there is domestic violence: Contradictions and consequences. Child & Family Social Work, 24(1), 156-163.

Abstract: Children live in different contexts of protection and vulnerability when exposed to domestic violence. The negative impacts for many children are consistent and widely acknowledged. However, the implication that this requires men who use violence to address their fathering has been slower to emerge. This article draws from 69 in‐depth qualitative interviews with men, women, and workers across four men’s behaviour change programmes in rural Victoria, Australia. Particular attention is given to men’s attitudes to their fathering and the formal and informal consequences they experienced as a result of their violence and its impact on their fathering. Although most men came to recognize that their violence impacted their children, they failed to make the connection that the involvement of statutory child protection services in their lives was a direct consequence of their abusive behaviour. This article explores this disconnection by fathers who use violence, their attitude to the involvement of statutory child protection services, and identifies the implications for social work practitioners in addressing this issue.

To view the original publication, click here.

Researchers: Smith, J. & Humphreys, C.

Year: 2018

McLindon, E., Humphreys, C., & Hegarty, K. (2018). “It happens to clinicians too”: an Australian prevalence study of intimate partner and family violence against health professionals. BMC women’s health, 18(1), 113.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to measure the prevalence of intimate partner and family violence amongst a population of Australian female nurses, doctors and allied health professionals. Methods: We conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional survey in a large Australian tertiary maternity hospital with 471 participating female health professionals (45.0% response rate). The primary outcome measures were 12 month and lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence (Composite Abuse Scale) and family violence. Results: In the last 12 months, one in ten (43, 11.5%) participants reported intimate partner violence: 4.2% (16) combined physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse; 6.7% (25) emotional abuse and/or harassment; 5.1% (22) were afraid of their partner; and 1.7% (7) had been raped by their partner. Since the age of sixteen, one third (125, 29.7%) of participants reported intimate partner violence: 18.3% (77) had experienced combined physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse; 8.1% (34) emotional abuse and/or harassment; 25.6% (111) had been afraid of their partner; and 12.1% (51) had been raped by their partner. Overall, 45.2% (212) of participants reported violence by a partner and/or family member during their lifetime, with 12.8% (60) reporting both. Conclusion: Intimate partner and family violence may be common traumas in the lives of female health professionals, and this should be considered in health workplace policies and protocols, as health professionals are increasingly urged to work with patients who have experienced intimate partner and family violence. Implications include the need for workplace manager training, special leave provision, counselling services and other resources for staff.

To view the original publication, click here.

Researchers: McLindon, E., Humphreys, C. & Hegarty, K.

Year: 2018

Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Larance, L. Y., Vicary, D., Spiteri-Staines, A., & Ovenden, G. (2019). Working with women who use force: a feasibility study protocol of the Positive (+) SHIFT group work programme in Australia. BMJ Open, 9(5), e027496.

Abstract:

Introduction
This study assesses the feasibility of the Positive Shift (+SHIFT) programme in the context of legal responses and social welfare provision in the state of Victoria, Australia.

The +SHIFT programme, adapted from the Vista curriculum, is a group work and case management programme for women who use force. Building on traditional survivor support group strengths, the programme facilitates participants’ engagement with viable alternatives to force while promoting healing. The study also aims to increase understanding about the characteristics and needs of women who use force in Australia.

Methods and analysis
This feasibility study will assess the +SHIFT programme’s appropriateness in addressing women’s use of force in the Victorian context. Process evaluation will be undertaken to identify recruitment, retention, women’s participation, barriers to implementation, the appropriateness of proposed outcome measures and other issues. The feasibility of an outcome evaluation which would employ a longitudinal mixed methods design with measures administered at preprogramme, programme completion and 3 months postprogramme time points, along with semistructured interviews with participants, programme staff and referring professionals, will also be assessed.

Ethics and dissemination
Research ethics approval was obtained from the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee. Results of the study will be communicated to the programme providers as part of the action research process evaluation methodology. On completion, final results will be reported to programme providers and funding bodies, and published in academic journals and presented at national and international conferences.

To view the original publication, click here

Researchers: Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Yound Larance, L., Vicary, Dave., Spiteri-Staines, A. & Ovenden, G.

Year: 2019

Hooker, L., Toone, E., Raykar, V., Humphreys, C., Morris, A., Westrupp, E., & Taft, A. (2019). Reconnecting mothers and children after violence (RECOVER): a feasibility study protocol of child–parent psychotherapy in Australia. BMJ Open, 9(5), e023653.

Abstract:

Introduction
Intimate partner violence detrimentally affects the social and emotional well-being of children and mothers. These two populations are impacted both individually and within the context of their relationship with one another. Child mental health, maternal mental health and the mother–child relationship may be impaired as a consequence. Early intervention to prevent or arrest impaired mother–child attachment and child development is needed. Dyadic or relational mental health interventions that include mothers with their children, such as child–parent psychotherapy, are effective in improving the mental health of both children and mothers and also strengthening their relationship. While child–parent psychotherapy has been trialled overseas in several populations, Australian research on relational interventions for children and women recovering from violence is limited. This study aims to assess the acceptability and feasibility of implementing child–parent psychotherapy in Australian families.

Methods and analysis
Using a mixed methods, prepost design this feasibility study will examine the acceptability of the intervention to women with preschool aged children (3–5 years, n=15 dyads) and providers, and identify process issues including recruitment, retention and barriers to implementation and sustainability. In addition, intervention efficacy will be assessed using maternal and child health outcomes and functioning, and mother–child attachment measures. Young children’s mental health needs are underserviced in Australia. More research is needed to fully understand parenting in the context of intimate partner violence and what works to help women and children recover. If the intervention is found to be feasible, findings will inform future trials and expansion of child–parent psychotherapy in Australia.

Ethics and dissemination
Ethics approval obtained from clinical sites and the La Trobe University Human Research Ethics Committee (ID: HEC17-108). Results will be disseminated through conference proceedings and academic publications.

To view the original publication, click here

Researchers: Hooker, L., Toone, E., Raykar, V., Humphreys, C., Morris, A., Westrupp, E. & Taft, A.

Year: 2019

Andrews, S., Gallant, D., Humphreys, C., Ellis, D., Bamblett, A., Briggs, R., & Harrison, W. (2018). Holistic programme developments and responses to Aboriginal men who use violence against women. International Social Work.

Abstract: Family violence significantly impacts upon Aboriginal women and children globally. Despite this fact, there is a scarcity of published knowledge regarding the nature and efficacy of Aboriginal programmes for men who use violence against women. This article reports the findings from interviews with 15 facilitators of Australian Aboriginal men’s healing, fathering and family violence programmes. From these interviews, we have developed a conceptual model of working with Aboriginal men. It accommodates the collective, generational and individual trauma of both perpetrator and victim, while privileging gendered accountability for violence as a central tenet to the work.

To view the original publication, click here.

Researchers: Andrews, S., Gallant, D., Humphreys, C., Ellis, D., Bamblett, A., Briggs, R. & Harrison, W.

Year: 2018

Fogden, L., Kertesz, M. and Humphreys, C. (2018). Mothers in Mind: Independent Evaluation 2016-17. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.

Abstract:

The Children’s Protection Society (CPS) provides support services to vulnerable families and children living in the North East Melbourne metropolitan area. In 2016, CPS started to run Mothers in Mind, a group program for mothers and young children who have experienced family violence and separated from the perpetrator. This program was developed by the Child Development Institute in Canada, and has been evaluated over a number of years in Canada. In early 2017, CPS contracted Department of Social Work at the University of Melbourne to carry out an evaluation of the Mothers in Mind (MIM) program, to include programs run in Term 3 2016, Term 4 2016, Term 2 2017 and Term 4 2017. The program due to run in Term 4 2017 was cancelled.

Researchers:
Fogden, L., Kertesz, M & Humphreys, C.

Year: 2018

Pfitzner, N., Humphreys, C., & Hegarty, K. (2018). Engaging Men as Fathers: How Gender Influences Men’s Involvement in Australian Family Health Services. Journal of Family Issues, 39(16), 3956–3985.

Title: Engaging Men as Fathers: How gender influences men’s involvement in Australian Family Health Services

Despite claims of “new” and “involved” fathers, research shows men’s actual fathering practices remain relatively unchanged. Increasing attention is being paid to the influence of child and family services on father engagement with calls from researchers and practitioners for a game change in parenting interventions. In this article, we draw on case study data to examine how gender impacts on maternal and child health services’ engagement with new fathers in respectful relationships programs. Our analysis shows that gender shapes men’s fathering and consequently their involvement in programs that seek to engage men as fathers. These gendered behaviors intersect with the practices, policies, and orientation of the Maternal and Child Health Service. The findings hold important implications for designing strategies to engage men in family services.

To view the original publication, click here.

Researchers: Pfitzner, N., Humphreys, C. & Hegarty, K. (2018).

Year: 2018