Family violence reform grant awarded to Western Sydney University researchers

Western Sydney University researchers will explore interventions for young men and boys surrounding the use of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) following a $292,457 grant from the Family Violence Research Program.

Led by Family Safety Victoria, the inaugural Family Violence Research Program will fund high-quality research to develop and build the evidence base to support family violence reform in Victoria, as well as make broader contributions to IPV literature and support intervention guidance globally.

Lead author, Associate Professor Lucy Nicholas, Director, Sexualities and Genders Research at the University’s School of Social Sciences, said the study seeks to inform effective engagement of diverse young men and boys in intervention programs for IPV.

“There is a real gap in the service landscape in Victoria and Australia more widely for explicitly addressing the use of intimate partner violence for this age cohort. There are programs for adolescent violence in the home, and older men using domestic and family violence in the home, but a gap for behaviour change of adolescents and older men who use IPV,” said Associate Professor Nicholas.

“This is a crucial time to intervene and change beliefs and behaviours early. We are hoping to contribute to the creation of these interventions through this study.”

A collaboration between Swinburne University, and partner organisations, No To Violence and Drummond Street Services, the project will investigate attitudes towards IPV, assessing predictive and protective factors, what ‘accountability’ looks like, and motivators for change.

Joanne Yates, No to Violence, General Manager Advocacy and Communications said: “No to Violence is pleased to support this important project. We hope to identify gaps in the existing referral and response systems to better understand and meet the service needs of young men to intervene in their use of violence. Ultimately, this will keep families safe.”

The findings will guide a suite of engagement materials, including principles for the engagement of young men and boys who use IPV, interactive web reports, and accessible resources for the sector and government.

Co-investigator, Dr Benjamin Hanckel, from the University’s Institute for Culture and Society and Young and Resilient Research Centre, said the study would importantly provide evidence-based intervention guidance.

“The critical mixed methods approach of this research design, which draws on co-design principals, will allow us to better understand and evidence effective intervention guidance and violence prevention for this cohort of young men,” said Dr Hanckel.

The study titled, ‘Interventions for young men and boys using Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in early relationships: Analysing identification, referral and practices, and investigating motivating and protective factors for targeted intervention’, is a two-year project.


If this information is distressing for you or if you need support relating to domestic violence, please contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service ¬– 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

If you are using violence:

Men’s Referral Service -

If you are experiencing violence:


18 August 2022

Media Unit

Photo credit: Unsplash