An Australian-first study led by The University of Western Australia has surveyed those who have experienced family and domestic violence to identify the top ten priorities for future research into one of the nation’s most serious problems.
Professor Colleen Fisher, Head of UWA’s School of Population Health, said family and domestic violence was defined as conduct that was violent, threatening, coercive, controlling or intended to cause the family or household member to be fearful. It can include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse, as well as neglect or financial abuse.
“In 2015 there were almost 60,000 reported cases of assault relating to family and domestic violence in Australia,” Professor Fisher said.
The Family and Domestic Violence Priority Setting Partnership Project, involving researchers from UWA, Telethon Kids Institute, the WA Health Translation Network, Anglicare WA as well as two community members, aimed to help focus future research on the questions that matter to people who are experiencing or have experienced family and domestic violence.
The project recruited 150 people from around the state to complete an online survey to voice their concerns, issues and areas of importance for future research. The survey responses were analysed by researchers and the themes identified were discussed and prioritised by 19 community members and service providers who attended a consensus workshop.
The top 10 priorities as detailed in the project report were law, courts and violence restraining orders; police; non-physical abuse; prevention and early intervention; impact on children; mental health issues/outcomes; service delivery; financial issues; intergenerational impact and outcomes in family and domestic violence; and perpetrators.
“All research should be informed by the lived experience of community members to ensure that changes to policy and practice and service delivery are underpinned by what’s important to the community,” Professor Fisher said.
“This project delivered priorities for future research based on community experiences and values. It is the hope of the project team that future research funding will support the priorities.”
Professor Colleen Fisher (UWA School of Population Health) (+61 8) 6488 2193 / (+61 4) 17 177 301
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716