Violence and families

Our research expertise

Family violence, sexual assault and abuse and child maltreatment affect many Australian families. These types of interpersonal violence and associated trauma can have negative impacts on mental and physical health, family and other relationships, economic participation and social connectedness. The needs of families experiencing these issues can be complex. Increasingly, the imperative is to develop integrated co-ordinated and appropriately tailored support systems to improve the long-term consequences of family and interpersonal violence.

AIFS has an extensive research program on families and violence that examines:

  • how experiences of violence affect family functioning
  • how family violence, sexual assault and abuse, and child maltreatment intersect with other social harms (such as other forms of violence, mental ill-health, substance use, criminal offending and social and economic disadvantage)
  • how policy and service development can contribute to the reduction of the negative effects
  • how prevention programs can prevent these forms of harm for individuals, relationships, families and communities from occurring in the first place.


Rae Kaspiew
Senior Research Fellow

Antonia Quadara
Research Fellow

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