Research and evaluation

Coordinating research and evaluation across the family violence reform

A strong evidence base is key to delivering long-term, sustainable reform of our family violence system. It tells us what is working, what needs to be adjusted and where to focus our efforts for the greatest effect.

We are focusing on research activities that fill gaps in knowledge across primary prevention, early intervention and response, and working to improve the quality, availability and use of data to build our understanding and drive improvement.

Key activity in 2022

  • Victoria’s Family violence research agenda 2021–2024 was released in February 2022. It articulates the Victorian Government’s research priorities to strengthen evidence and support strategic decision-making in relation to family violence and sexual assault.
  • To support the Research agenda, we funded 13 research projects across seven subject areas under the Family Violence Research Grants Program. This research is not only building evidence but also translating it into practice to support better outcomes and long-lasting change for both victim survivors and those who use violence.
  • Respect Victoria progressed a number of primary prevention-focused research projects, including:
    • the No more excuses report, which explores the extent and nature of violence against women with disability in Australia, and what works to prevent this violence before it starts
    • the Aboriginal Family Violence Primary Prevention Research Project, which is being conducted by Urbis Consulting in partnership with Yorta Yorta researcher and community development expert Karen Milward
    • the Migrant and Refugee Women and Girls Research Project, conducted by Monash University, explores the ways that that primary prevention and coercive control are understood by migrant and refugee Victorians, with a particular focus on women and their experiences
    • the Evidence Synthesis Review Project, which sought to strengthen understanding of the similarities and differences in what drives different forms of family violence and violence against women.
  • The Harmony Study, conducted by Latrobe University in partnership with the inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, worked with primary care clinicians to increase their ability to identify and intervene early in situations of family violence among migrant and refugee communities.
  • The Dhelk Dja monitoring, evaluation and accountability plan was prepared by the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum to accompany Dhelk Dja: Safe our way – strong cultures, strong peoples, strong families.
  • The Family Violence Data Portal is updated every quarter. Since its creation, there have been several modifications to include new data. For example, sexual violence data was added to the portal for the first time on 1 December 2021 and is regularly updated.
  • Evaluations of family violence initiatives were undertaken in 2022. This included the evaluation of the Risk Assessment and Management Panels (RAMPs) which provided a set of themed recommendations and next steps to inform future directions for RAMPs.