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  • Author: Anna Bornemisza

The DAHLIA-19 Project: Domestic Abuse Harnessing Learning Internationally under COVID-19

DAHLIA-19 is examining policy and practice responses in 4 upper or upper/middle income countries with established DA services where different strategies have been introduced. In each country, a team of academic researchers works with major partner organisations to ensure that the study can draw on practice and policy expertise, is relevant to the sector’s needs and that findings are widely disseminated and appropriately targeted. To find out more about this project, please visit https://www.dahlia19study.com/about

Researchers: Cathy Humphreys, Kelsey Hegarty, Gemma McKibbin

Funders: ESRC, UK

Partner organisations: ANROWS, Australian National Research Organisation for Women Safety; Family Safety Victoria

Project Dates: 2020-2022

Contact: Cathy Humprehys and Gemma McKibbin

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2020). Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY for Children (STACY for Children): Key findings and future directions (Research to policy and practice, 22/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.

Abstract:

The “STACY for Children” project was conducted across three research sites in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria by a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team of researchers. The project involved two studies that investigated whether there was emerging evidence that the Safe & Together™ Model (S&T Model), where it is implemented holistically (with
an authorising environment and strong collaborative practice), leads to better outcomes for children and families living with DFV and parental issues of AOD and/or MH.

Download a PDF of this report

Researchers: Humphreys, C., Parolini, A., Healey, L., Kertesz, M., Tsantefski, M., Heward-Belle, S., O’Leary, P., Isobe, J., Tan, W. W., Jeffreys, C., Bornemisza, A., Young, A., Fogden, L.

Year: 2020

Humphreys, C., Kertesz, M., Parolini, A., Isobe, J., Heward-Belle, S., Tsantefski, M., … Healey, L. (2020). Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY for Children (STACY for Children) (Research report, 22/20). Sydney: ANROWS.

Abstract:

The STACY for Children project (2019–20) involved two
studies that investigated whether there was emerging evidence
that the Safe & Together™ Model, where it is implemented
holistically, is leading to better outcomes for children and
families living with domestic and family violence (DFV)
and parental issues of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) use
and/or mental health (MH) problems.

Study 1 focused on listening to the voices of those working and
living at the intersection of DFV, AOD and MH. Researchers
gathered perspectives from practitioners and from clients from
participating organisations about the implementation of an
all-of-family approach to practice (i.e. each family member
receiving attention or a service at intake).

Study 2 explored the implementation of the Safe & Together
(S&T) approach in a particular trial site where a specialist
worker is placed to support and inform the child protection
process from a DFV-informed perspective. It used child
case-level, de-identified administrative records to investigate
whether the availability of the S&T Model as an approach to
practice was associated with positive outcomes for children and
families in an area where it had been proactively implemented.

Download a PDF of this report


Researchers: Humphreys, C., Parolini, A., Healey, L., Kertesz, M., Tsantefski, M., Heward-Belle, S., O’Leary, P., Isobe, J., Tan, W. W., Jeffreys, C., Bornemisza, A., Young, A., Fogden, L.

Year: 2020

Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C. & Larance, L.Y. (2021). Interventions for women who use force in a family context: an Australian Practice Framework. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.

Abstract:

This Practice Framework isdesigned as a brief guide for practitioners and program designers to the principles and intervention style deemed essential for working with this population. It is best read in the context of a program curriculum such as the Positive Shift Curriculum or the University of Melbourne research reports on this topic.

The framework is based on a research program about women who use force in a family context, which has included academic researchers from the University of Melbourne and Curtin University and service providers and users (Baptcare and Berry Street).

Researchers: Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C. & Larance, L.Y.

Year: 2021

Warren, A., Martin, R., Chung, D. (2020) Women who use force: Final Report. Volume 3 – National Workforce Survey. Melbourne: University of Melbourne

Abstract:

This is the final report (3 volumes) of a research program that has developed the Australian knowledge base about women who use force in a family context, and appropriate service responses. The research was funded by the Department of Social Services.

Volume 3 reports on a national workforce survey which found varying understandings and definitions of what constitutes women’s use of force and the extent to which it is considered different from men. The report identifies that there is some urgency in building knowledge about this area of work, as women who use force are seen regularly by study participants in their work.

Researchers: Warren, A., Martin, R., Chung, D.

Year: 2020

Warren, A., Martin, R., Chung, D. (2020) Women who use force: Final Report. Volume 2 – International Literature Review. Melbourne: University of Melbourne

Abstract:

This is the final report (3 volumes) of a research program that has developed the Australian knowledge base about women who use force in a family context, and appropriate service responses. The research was funded by the Department of Social Services.

Volume 2 reviews the international literature about women who use force in a family context. Women’s use of force cannot be categorised in the ways that men’s violence has been understood, differing in motivation, intent and impact. 

Researchers: Warren, A., Martin, R., Chung, D.

Year: 2020

Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Ovenden, G., Spiteri-Staines, A. (2020) Women who use force: Final Report. Volume 1 – Executive Summary, Positive Shift Program, Evaluation of Positive Shift, and Practice Framework. Melbourne: University of Melbourne

Abstract:

This is the final report (3 volumes) of a research program that has developed the Australian knowledge base about women who use force in a family context, and appropriate service responses. The research was funded by the Department of Social Services.

Volume 1 contains a practice framework for intervening with this population, a description and evaluation of +SHIFT (a group work and case management program for women who use force) and the executive summary.

Researchers: Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Ovenden, G., Spiteri-Staines, A.

Year: 2020

Isobe, J., Healey, L. & Humphreys, C. (2020). A critical interpretive synthesis of the intersection of domestic violence with parental issues of mental health and substance use. Health and Social Care in the Community, 28(5), 1394–1407.

Abstract:

A critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) methodology was used with the aim of informing practice with children and families when domestic and family violence (DFV) and parental issues relating to alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and mental health (MH) are also present. A CIS is grounded in the literature, but includes questioning of the literature in order to problematise gaps, contradictions and constructions of issues. A review of the literature from 2010 to 2018 was conducted with the structured search strategy identifying 40 relevant research articles. Synthesis and critique of these articles revealed three mutually informative themes through which to understand the literature and how it can inform practice. They were as follows: differences in theoretical approaches and client focus; complexity of system’s collaboration; and practices converging on mothers. Taken together, these themes facilitated the development of the synthesising construct: strengthening intersection between DFV, AOD and MH sectors. Attention to practice at multiple levels that responds to the dynamics of gender and the differing impacts of violence was often lacking, particularly in the context of heightened child protection concerns where collaboration between sectors is needed. Both promising and problematic practices relating to gender dynamics and accountability converged on mothers. While there were exceptions, generally, there was an absence of engagement with, and recognition of, the impacts of fathers’ patterns of using violence and control on adult and child survivors. Promising practice related to the strengthening of the mother–child relationship and attention to MH and its intersection with domestic violence. Strengthening the intersections between DFV, AOD and MH practices with attention to keeping the perpetrator of violence in view is critical to overcoming the poor practice that can occur when sectors are siloed from each other.

To view the original publication, click here.

Researchers: Isobe, J., Healey, L. & Humphreys, C.

Year: 2020

Kertesz, M. Ramamurthy, A., Fogden, L., & Humphreys, C. (2019). Children and Mothers in Mind Independent Evaluation 2018-19 Participant and Facilitator Feedback: Final Report. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.

The final evaluation report for Children and Mothers in Mind (CMIM), a group program for mothers and pre-school children who have experienced family violence in the past, and focuses on interview-based findings about the participants’ experiences of the program.

Researchers: Kertesz, M. Ramamurthy, A., Fogden, L., & Humphreys, C.
Year: 2019

Kertesz, M., Ovenden, G., & Humphreys, C. (2019). Independent Evaluation of +SHIFT at Tarrengower Prison. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.

In the context of a dominant pattern of male violence perpetrated against women, there are some women who use force in their intimate relationships, and who are identified as perpetrators of violence. This report evaluates the Positive Shift program, as delivered within Tarrengower Prison for women. Positive Shift is is a 16-session group work and case support program for women who use force, which takes a therapeutic, gender-responsive, trauma-informed approach, building on the strengths of more traditional survivor support groups.

Researchers: Kertesz, M., Ovenden, G., & Humphreys, C.
Year: 2019