Domestic and Family Violence and Child Abuse

Exploring, understanding and evaluating the prevention and response to domestic and family violence

Our research contributes to exploring, understanding and evaluating the prevention and response to domestic and family violence (DFV) and child abuse. Our research agenda is applied and strives to be highly relevant to practitioners, policy workers and those with lived experience as victim survivors. We are profoundly interested in knowledge translation and design our projects with the end in mind at the outset of the research. Many of our projects involve co-design and work with the end-users of the research from the outset.

The contribution to prevalence surveys in Australia (National Community Attitudes Survey and the Personal Safety Survey) across Asia and the Pacific, which identify the extent and nature of domestic and family violence and attitudes to violence and abuse, has been central to our work.

The links between DFV and child abuse are a major theme of our research program. Since 2015 we have worked closely with David Mandel and the Safe and Together Institute on DFV participatory action research projects working with practice-led research to capacity build organisations while simultaneously building the knowledge base in this complex and sensitive area of work.

Our team holds expertise in evaluation and we have contributed to large and small scale evaluation of programs which seek to respond to domestic and family violence. We have been particularly interested in mother-child strengthening programs in the aftermath of DFV, and programs that work with fathers who use violence and abuse.

The participation of children and young people in research, working with them as active agents in their lives, has been an important strand of the work within the DFV team. Collaboration with different organisations and different disciplines lies at the heart of our research team. We have strong and well established links with government, peak bodies and the NGO sector. The co-directing of the Melbourne Alliance to End Violence Against Women and their Children (MAEVE) ensures that we work closely with our colleagues from different disciplines and Faculties across the university.

The research agenda is applied and a wide range of methods used: qualitative, quantitative, administrative data systems analysis, action research and co-design all feature in the research program.

For more information about our projects, PhD students and publications go to

Domestic and Family Violence and Child Abuse

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Prof Cathy Humphreys

Professor | Dedicated to optimising the health of all family members where there is domestic and family violence
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A/Prof Kristin Diemer

Associate Professor | kNOwVAWdata; safe, ethical and inclusive measurement of violence against women and children with a focus in Asia and the Pacific
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Dr Gemma McKibbin

Research fellow | Specialises in interviews with children and young people about sensitive issues like child sexual abuse and family violence. Interested in research collaborations that benefit the health and social lives of children and young people in Australia and across the globe
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Dr David Gallant

Lecturer | Research areas include family violence, sport development, custodial settings, and Indigenous communities