ANROWS to fund new research into young people’s attitudes on violence against women

Young people helping other young people build respectful relationships could be a critical way of preventing violence against women in future generations.

That is the focus of Young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women, a new research project announced today by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).

The project will be led by Dr Karen Struthers of Griffith University, with Professor Clare Tilbury, as a collaboration between Griffith University, YFS Ltd in Queensland, and the Ruby Gaea Sexual Assault Service in the Northern Territory.

The research aims to explore ways young people can effectively engage in positive change that promotes gender equality and reduces the prevalence of violence against women. Adopting an action research approach, it will evaluate how R4Respect, a peer-to-peer respectful relationships program coordinated by YFS, influences the views of the program’s youth participants, the actions they take to build more respectful relationships, and the effectiveness of the peer-to-peer respectful relationships education model.

ANROWS CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow said that gender-based respectful relationships education among young people was an essential element in preventing domestic violence.

“Young people are a major part of the solution when tackling violence in relationships, and evidence-based programs to engage young people in domestic violence prevention are essential,” she said.

“This research will provide valuable insight into how to improve the understanding young people have of gender equality in order to reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls.”

The R4Respect program was one of the 40 Building Safe Communities for Women projects funded by the Commonwealth Government, which participated in ANROWS’s 2016-17 Action Research Support initiative. For more information on R4Respect, visit the ANROWS website.

Dr Struthers’s project is one of 13 funded by ANROWS since August 2017. These have a total value of approximately $2.2 million, and build evidence for policy and practice in the implementation of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

For more information on ANROWS’s Research Program and on Dr Struthers’s project, visit the ANROWS website at