Action Research Paper Teen Vilonce

Project summary - PI.17.08

Perpetrator interventions strategic research priority 3.3: Models to address diversity

The PIPA project aims to improve evidence on the prevalence of adolescent violence in the home (AVITH) as it presents in different justice and service contexts; its co-occurrence with other issues and juvenile offending; and current responses and gaps in service delivery. This project has two separate but complimentary research approaches. 

The first will use: a literature review; quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, including interviews and focus groups with practitioners from courts, family violence services, ChildFirst, family services, legal services, youth and education services; court observations as well as a mapping of the legislative, regulatory frameworks along with policy and service responses across the three jurisdictions; to examine the prevalence of AVITH and current responses to it across Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Secondly, an Innovation Case Study is proposed using action research approach to track changes in legislation, policy and practice during the implementation of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations. The Victorian case study will provide learnings to support the development of integrated responses and practice in other jurisdictions whilst supporting local implementation through its action research based framework.

The research team will be supported by a project steering group enabling information exchange between, with and across sectors and to senior government officials. Changes in practice and ongoing gaps in service delivery identified through surveys of practitioners and by steering group members will support ongoing implementation and provide learnings for other jurisdictions.


Project lead

A/Prof Rob Hulls, RMIT University

Research expertise

  1.  Ms Elena Campbell, RMIT University
  2. Dr Helen Cockburn, University of Tasmania 

Practitioner expertise

  1. Ms Jo Howard, Kildonan UnitingCare
  2. Ms Rosy Jolic, Victoria Legal Aid
  3. Ms Be Westbrook, Peel Youth Services
  4. Ms Maureen Kavanagh Legal Aid, Western Australia

Research partners

Establishment of a steering group including:

  1. President of the Children’s Court of Victoria
  2. Commissioner for Children and Young People
  3. Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People
  4. Assistant Commissioner, Victoria Police, Family Violence Command
  5. Family Violence Program Manager, Victoria Legal Aid
  6. Executive Director, Jesuit Social Service
  7. Chair, Victorian Association for Restorative Justice
  8. Family Violence Program Manager, Good Shepherd
  9. Sexual Assault and Family Violence Program Manager, Department of Justice & Regulation
  10. Youth Justice Manager, Department of Health and Human Services
  11. Family Violence Program Manager, YouthLaw
  12. CEO, Women’s Legal Service
  13. Executive Director or Policy Officer, Domestic Violence Victoria
  14. CEO or Policy Officer, No To Violence


On 27 April 2017, the Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) held a forum focusing  on Family Violence: Responding to the Next Generation at the State Library of Victoria. Facilitated by Rob Hulls, Director of CIJ.

Recording from the October forum, in Perth

Project length

2 years



Teen Dating Abuse


If you, a friend, or loved one are possibly in a abusive relationship, call the Love Is Respect teen dating violence hotline at 1 (866) 331-9474 or text "loveis" to 22522 for assistance.

Everyone deserves to be in a healthy and safe relationship. Communication is key to exercising mutual respect, establishing healthy boundaries and understanding each other’s needs.

Unfortunately, as teens form their first romantic relationships, they often are unclear about what constitutes a healthy relationship.

Often, verbal and emotional abuse erodes girls’ self-esteem, making it more difficult to summon the courage to tell someone about the abuse, let alone end the relationship.

1 in 5 teens in a dating relationship report being hit, slapped, or pushed by their partner.

What are the biggest issues facing girls today?

Our survey of 412 girls in 22 different countries found:

    We consulted with girls around the world to better understand their personal obstacles. These girls reported, overwhelmingly, multiple challenges and sources of stress—violence, dating, peer pressure, depression, lack of self-esteem, and family or cultural expectations.

    82% of parents thought they could recognize teen dating violence but more than half couldn’t identify the warning signs.

    To take full advantage of the potential of girl power, we must take the next step—to end violence against women and girls and invest in more resources for the next generation of women.

    Take girl power to the next level.

    It starts with an understanding of what constitutes a healthy relationship.

    The action goals are simple: educate teenagers, parents and school personnel about teenage dating violence; promote an understanding of healthy vs. unhealthy relationships; and provide programs to empower girls—Dream It, Be It.

    “Dream It, Be It gave a feeling of relief and comfort. I felt I had a voice.”

    Learn More about Dream it Be it

    You can help stop teen dating abuse by educating parents and—most importantly— teens about teen dating violence and the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Take girl power to the next level by encouraging local schools to adopt the Dream It, Be It curriculum.

    Learn More

    Infographic: Teen Dating Violence
    Love shouldn't hurt. Know the facts, understand teen dating abuse and recognize the signs to ensure young women know what a healthy vs. unhealthy relationship looks like.

    Research Paper: If She Can Dream ItProviding Role Models and Mentors for 21st Century Girl Empowerment. Research informing Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls.



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