News 2018-03-27T23:03:05+00:00

Thinking of study in 2019?

Term 1 commences on the 11th March, 2019… and yes, we know… that sounds like ages away but… it’s easy to get consumed in planning for Christmas, getting ready for school holidays, or perhaps you just feel too tired after work?

Before you know it, the summer’s nearly over and February is on the horizon- so why not start planning now for a smooth transition into life as a postgraduate student?

CQUniversity offers these specialist courses:

CV74 Graduate Certificate in Domestic and Family Violence Practice

CH81 Graduate Certificate in Facilitating Men’s Behaviour Change

CV79 Graduate Diploma of Domestic and Family Violence Practice

CL23 Master of Domestic and Family Violence Practice

You can learn more about the application process to become a CQU student here.

November 23rd, 2018|

Let’s Not Forget

November is a time when we remember those who are no longer with us… whether it be through recognition of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” or the Christian calendar, which calls November the “Month of Remembrance”.  Many readers too will have encountered the Mexican tradition of “Day of the Dead”.  For those who work in the area of promoting women’s safety, it is also the month when we pause to remember the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration in 1999 of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

In more recent years, the 25th November is marked by many as White Ribbon Day, a time to challenge men to speak out against violence against women.  This campaign began in 1991 when Canadian men commemorated the second anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.  Yet the origins of the 25th November as a day to “remember” are much older, and this date has been observed in Latin America, since at least 1981, as the “Day for Non-Violence Against Women”.

This is an adaptation of a Re@der story from 2014 which bears re-telling…

It was in July of 1981 that the first Feminist Encounter of Latin America and the Caribbean was held in Bogotá, Colombia.  At this conference the 25th November was selected as a day of commemoration, a tribute to the lives of the Dominican Republic’s Mirabal sisters, murdered in 1960.  The decades since the deaths of the Mirabal women had seen Latin America dominated by dictatorships and military rule, and consequently violence against women was prevalent not only in the family and community, but also perpetrated by state security forces.  So it is unsurprising that “women delegates at the (1981) conference denounced domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment as well as violence against women perpetrated by the State, including torture and disappearances of women political prisoners” (Robinson 2006a).

Who were the Mirabal sisters?  The women were known throughout their homeland by their code name, “las mariposas,” (meaning “the butterflies”).  They were born into privileged circumstances: Patria in 1924, Dedé in 1925, Minerva in 1926, and María Teresa, nine years later.  While the older girls were quite young, Rafael Trujillo became the dictator of the Dominican Republic in 1930.  His reign was brutal, and thousands of those who opposed him were tortured and killed.  When he was a young adult, after discussion with her family, Minerva decided to resist Trujillo’s regime and with her sisters she joined an underground movement.

Meanwhile, Minerva studied law, and although she was awarded her degree, she was denied a license to practice, because she had rejected Trujillo’s sexual advances (Robinson 2006).  It has been suggested that this refusal drove Trujillo’s obsession with humiliating her: “a psychological war of fear… abuse and sexual harassment became an instrument used by Trujillo against women such as Minerva and their families.  It constituted a manifestation of absolute power.” (Robinson 2006a).

The Mirabal sisters went on to marry men who were also opposed to Trujillo and the women and their spouses experienced repeated imprisonment, and on occasions, the men were tortured.  On 25th November 1960 Patria, Minerva and María Teresa visited their gaoled husbands, and upon their return, Trujillo’s henchmen intercepted their car on an isolated mountain road.  Accounts vary as to what happened next, but the result was indisputable (Pineda-Madrid 2011; Robinson 2006a).  The three sisters, and their driver, were either beaten and/ or strangled to death by the secret agents, and their vehicle was thrown off a cliff to feign an accident.

The following year Trujillo himself was assassinated.  Manley (2012) notes that although other women were far from absent from the transition that led to Trujillo’s murder, it is arguable that the slaying of the sisters was the breaking point for his long dictatorship: this was an assault on Dominican national morality, the women’s deaths representing Trujillo’s failure to “protect the sanctity of the home, embodied symbolically by women and women as mothers”.  The fourth butterfly, Dedé, passed away in 2014, at the age of 88.  Her life was dedicated to ensuring the enduring of her sisters’ legacy, and caring for their six children.

Historical research has failed to gauge the importance of this single event in galvanizing national sentiment against Trujillo, who was assassinated six months later. This might be attributed to the fact that they were seen as women who did not measure up in importance to other events… in determining Trujillo’s downfall. Nor has their legacy been seriously examined until recently, despite the fact that they left a very deep imprint on Dominican consciousness: virtually all Dominican towns today have some commemorative marker, school or main street bearing their names. (Robinson, 2006b, 173)


November 22nd, 2018|

Domestic Violence Trainers Hit the Road

The past weeks have been all-consuming for the trainers and those who assist them at QCDFVR.  By the end of November, the Common Risk and Safety Framework (CRASF) Training will have been delivered in Brisbane, Logan, Moreton, Mackay, Cairns, and Mount Isa, with Ipswich and Cherbourg to follow in December.  As well, stakeholders in six of these sites will have had access to a tailored Professional Development Workshop, facilitated by Mark Walters, prior to the Christmas break.  Mark and Judy Pidcock have been on the road and in the air for most of the past months, taking CRASF, and other training, around the big state we call home.

It has been a feat of coordination on the part of Janine, Margaret and Maree to arrange the venues and catering for each CRASF session, and coordinate attendee registrations and trainer travel and accommodation.  Thank you to the team for a wonderful effort.

On a number of occasions I’ve had the privilege of joining in these sessions.  I continue to be inspired by the diversity of skills and talent of those who are working in the sector.  The women and children of Queensland have great champions on the frontline.  Their work is complemented by that of their counterparts, working tirelessly to hold the perpetrators of domestic and family violence to account for their actions.

Among the other learning I’ve taken from my visits to sites is how much our education and training is valued.  For example, one stakeholder in western Queensland who had just completed CQUniversity’s Postgraduate Diploma in Domestic and Family Violence Practice described it as “wonderful” and added on how much it had helped them in their role with the local High Risk Team.

A matter of days later, this (unsolicited!) email arrived in my in-box from an organisation who has accessed training from CQU through QCDFVR over recent years:

We value our relationship with Central Queensland University and we look forward progressing this productive relationship.  The leadership from CQU demonstrates the willingness of CQU to support industry partnerships that promote proactive approaches to addressing violence in our communities and to seeking to address violence against women and children.  As an organisation that works with many of the women and children who have been adversely affected by domestic and family violence we welcome the opportunity to partner with CQU and to continue to work toward creating communities where violence no longer exists.

We also value the commitment from CQU to the professional development of our employees. I have also realised that over the past few years that Judy has come to be viewed as a quasi-employee… with a number of people talking about how much they admire Judy and respect her as a training facilitator.

Meanwhile, our trainers in the Brisbane South PHN catchment area have continued to inform and enthuse the staff of general practices to play their part in recognising and responding to domestic and family violence.

In effect, this means that over the course of 2018 alone, the QCDFVR training crew has influenced a vast range of disciplines- social workers, nurses, counsellors, psychologists, teachers, doctors, and other allied health professionals and support personnel- to understand more about violence against women.  The need for more education has been acknowledged in a raft of contemporary policies, and across disciplines- but there is much work to be done!

So I’ll leave the “last words” to a neat summary from our colleagues in the social work field- where it has been recognised that it is time for

… researchers, educators, and practitioners to educate current students and veteran social workers regarding domestic violence… It has been over 10 years since social workers who were working with survivors of domestic violence and conducting research in the area issued a call to their colleagues to lead the way in addressing the issue of domestic violence and to intervene accordingly. Let us act now. The social work profession is poised to ensure that we are educating all of our workers on the history and prevalence of domestic violence as well as how to appropriately connect clients to resources, options, and appropriate intervention strategies. Crabtree-Nelson, Grossman & Lundy, 2016, p. 360


Crabtree-Nelson, S., Grossman, S., & Lundy, M. (2016). A Call to Action: Domestic Violence Education in Social Work. Social Work, 61(4), 359-362.


November 22nd, 2018|

Speak Up and Speak Out

This week, we reached out to stalwart domestic violence advocate and CEO of the Red Rose Foundation, Betty Taylor.  Betty was typically generous with her time and in sharing the rich knowledge she has developed after almost 30 years working across the domestic violence sector.  Betty spoke about what it means to be an activist, why it continues to be necessary and about the legacy of the Red Rose Rallies.

Q. This Sunday, 25th November marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. What does activism mean to you?

A. Activism to me means taking social action around an identified problem. In terms of violence against women, I have always loved the United Nations mantra: Think Globally, Act Locally. Addressing violence against women in the context of activism, we can’t work with women on an individual basis without wanting to change the systems of oppression that impact violence against women.  We hear lots of talk about how to empower women, but what they really want and need is to be liberated.  Our patriarchal system of society dominates women in all spheres of their lives – public and private.  We can work with a women in a relationship and help her to escape that violence, but still, she is not safe – not safe on the street, at work…  Activism is all about trying to change those systems and structures.


Q. A simultaneous Red Rose Rally was held in Brisbane, Cairns, Mackay and Melbourne recently with hundreds attending to honour the 12 women who lost their lives to family violence in October. Describe how it feels to have created a legacy that so many people now get behind and get involved in.

A. We started holding Red Rose Rallies 10 years ago, and have consistently held one following each death of a woman. The Rallies are not a protest; they are marking the outrage that is part of activism in saying here’s another women that’s died and another women that’s died. We have conversations about strawberries and about sharks but at what point does violence against women become a national crisis?  To see the Rallies grow and to be supported by both sides of parliament, with more social media reporting now – it is leading to more awareness.  We are keeping the conversation going.


Q. In 2008, you wrote a discussion paper titled ‘Dying to be Heard’ as part of your work on the Domestic Violence Death Review Action Group. What can each of us do, to be voices for those women no longer with us?

A. Ten years on and sadly women and children are still Dying to be Heard. We know that domestic and family violence deaths are largely predictable and preventable. We best honour those who have died by working for change on a political and societal level so that violence and abuse is not tolerated or excused ever/ anywhere. Challenging the status quo is the central core of social reform. There are however many ways to do this: campaigns involving lobbying and petitioning; protests; street demonstrations; and other methods. For the Red Rose Foundation this is a combination of Red Rose Rallies which provides a public space to remember those who have died while also bringing to public attention that stark reality of the enormous toll of violence against women.


Q. Is there still a need for activists in the context of violence against women?

A. There are still too many women living with horrendous violence and we owe it to them to speak up and speak out.


About the Red Rose Foundation

The Red Rose Foundation actively works to end domestic and family violence related deaths in Australia including homicide, suicide and accidental deaths that arise from incidents and/ or histories of domestic violence.


November 21st, 2018|

Violence and Incarceration – Factors for men, North Queensland.

After countless hours, Bronwyn Honorato – Research Worker at Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research last month submitted her PhD for review.  Bronwyn’s thesis, titled ‘Risk and Protective Factors for Violence Behaviour and Incarceration for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Men in North Queensland’ is a particularly poignant work.



Risk and Protective Factors for Violent Behaviour and Incarceration for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Men in North Queensland


This project explored risk and protective factors for violence and incarceration for men in North Queensland, including Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands.


Interviews were conducted with 39 participants, including 19 prison inmates. Two thirds of the sample identified as Indigenous Australian. The most common risk factor themes mentioned included adverse family and childhood, mental health, personality, peer group/social influences and witnessing or a history of violence. The most common protective themes included positive childhood role models and mentors, personal attributes, and family and childhood experiences. Further, for inmates, a common trajectory from trauma to incarceration was identified. This included experiencing childhood or adolescent trauma, a lack of support or treatment, substance abuse to mask the pain, and a ‘brain snap’ leading to violent offending and incarceration.


A further 85 men including 36 prison inmates completed a survey. Of the 85 participants, 30 identified as Indigenous Australian. Frequent cannabis use was found to significantly increase the risk of perpetration of violence towards others, while a higher education level reduced the risk. When comparing cultural groups, significant associations were revealed for alcohol and cannabis use and violence for non-Indigenous, but not for Indigenous participants. Risk factors for incarceration included regular cannabis use and religious beliefs, while higher education levels, positive childhood events and being in a relationship were protective. Significant associations between religious beliefs and incarceration were found for Indigenous but not for non-Indigenous participants; while alcohol and cannabis use were significantly associated with incarceration for non-Indigenous, but not Indigenous participants.


This was one of the first explorative studies of this kind conducted in North Queensland with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, including prison inmates. Early intervention and treatment efforts focusing on young males, particularly users, or those at risk of using cannabis, may assist to reduce violence and incarceration rates for future generations in this region. The importance of social determinants, including childhood upbringing and experiences, and education to a tertiary or vocational level were highlighted in this study. The socioeconomic indicators of regional and remote communities, particularly Indigenous communities, are often far worse than urban populations, with little or no constructive economic activity, educational, or employment options available. Assisting men to gain meaningful employment, identifying needs, and developing individual strengths to reduce offending and incarceration may allow more men to become constructive, functioning contributors to society.

September 27th, 2018|

The Relationship between Gambling and Domestic Violence Against Women

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research is working in partnership with CQUniversity and the Australian Institute of Family Studies to conduct a national study examining the relationship between gambling and domestic violence (DV) against women.  This includes physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse.


Time frame:                01/06/2018 – 30/06/2019


Funding:                      Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS)


Research Team:          Professor Nerilee Hing (Chief Investigator), Professor Annabel Taylor, Dr Andrew Frost, Nancy Greer, Hannah Thorne


Contact:                      Nancy Greer or Hannah Thorne

September 27th, 2018|

The Role of Fatherhood Identity in Perpetrator Interventions

Dr Silke Meyer is a Senior Lecturer with the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.  Dr Meyer has recently undertaken research on men’s compliance with Domestic Violence Orders and the role of fatherhood identity in perpetrator interventions, drawing upon her background in criminology and social work.

Dr Meyer is passionate about victims’ and children’s wellbeing and advocacy for holistic responses to domestic and family violence.  Recently, she has been the chief investigator evaluating two Queensland-based programs that look closely at the behaviour of fathers who have exposed their children to domestic and family violence (DFV)


Caring Dads program evaluation

The Caring Dads program, developed in Canada, is being trialled in Queensland from 2017-2019. The evaluation is currently in the early stages of its second year and will be completed in late 2019.

The evaluation captures data from male program participants, (ex) partners, referral agencies and other community stakeholders involved in responding to fathers who have exposed their children to DFV.

“Collecting data from program participants and where possible (ex) partners across three trial rounds, we are starting to get some insights into what motivates fathers to attend the program, how fathers view the impact of their behaviour on women and children and where the program may be able to contribute to behaviour change.” Dr Meyer said.

Interviews conducted with a variety of community stakeholders and referral partners highlights the need for programs that address the intersection of fatherhood, DFV and child wellbeing while prioritising women and children’s safety along with perpetrator accountability.


Walking with Dads evaluation

Walking with Dads is a Child Safety approach towards DFV informed practice that holds perpetrators of DFV accountable in their role as fathers while supporting mothers and children towards short and long-term safety and wellbeing. Its trial sites include Caboolture, Caloundra, Gympie and Mt Isa.

The evaluation aims to identify the nature and extent of practice shifts at the intersection of DFV and child protection and its impact on the safety and wellbeing of families affected.

Dr Meyer commented that “We are currently in the second and final year of data collection with mothers, fathers, Child Safety staff and community stakeholders.”

The Walking with Dads evaluation has been an action research journey to ensure that organisational and community input along with individual participants continue to shape both research design and implementation.

This evaluation has been an exciting opportunity to observe emerging practice and language shifts at the intersection of DFV and child protection. Data collection with parents is ongoing, with follow up interviews and surveys to be completed at the end of 2018.


For more information about these evaluation projects, please contact Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research on 07 4940 3320 or

September 27th, 2018|

International sexual assault and domestic violence expert visits CQUniversity [free presentation]

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence invites you to join us for a free presentation by Fulbright Specialist, Mark Wynn.

Experienced SWAT Team Lieutenant [Domestic Violence Division], Mark Wynn will visit CQUniversity Brisbane Campus in October.  CQUniversity’s Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (QCDFVR) is bringing Mark to Australia through a partnership with Queensland University of Technology’s School of Law.

The partnership will see Mark undertake a number of presentations and training opportunities for those with an interest in the prevention of violence against women, including police, domestic and family violence workers, sexual assault workers, academics and researchers.

Mark will do a free presentation titled ‘Sexual Assault – Myths and Misconceptions’ at CQUniversity’s Brisbane Campus on Wednesday 3rd October.  The presentation will also be lived streamed so that those outside of Brisbane can still access and benefit from Mark’s expertise.  QCDFVR Director, Dr Heather Lovatt, says

“Gendered Violence is a significant public health problem and it is impacting Queenslanders at an alarming rate.  Having Mark Wynn visit us in Australia is such a brilliant opportunity to extend our knowledge about effective responses to and support for victims of sexual violence”.

The presentation will explore:

  • The myths and misconceptions about sexual assault, including “victim blaming” and false reporting
  • How myths and misconceptions impact our beliefs, respond, investigations, pursuit of justice
  • How to overcome these barriers
  • Men’s role in prevention
  • Encouraging reporting of these crimes to helps support victims and ensure justice

Mark has lectured at universities and police academies throughout the world.  He draws upon his extensive experience in law enforcement and his knowledge of family violence; stalking; domestic violence and sexual violence.   He has also worked a consultant and an advisor to government departments, providing strategies to prevent domestic violence and support in the development of policy and training curriculum for law enforcement.

Register now to attend the presentation [in Brisbane or via live stream]

September 24th, 2018|

Our very own Women’s Activist, Terese Kingston

2018 Emma Miller Award recipient - Terese Kingston

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research Officer, Terese Kingston, has been named the Services Union recipient of the Emma Miller Award for 2018, at a ceremony in Brisbane last Friday.

The Awards, coordinated by the Queensland Council of Unions, are named after pioneering Trade Union Organiser and Suffragist, Emma Miller.  They recognise the outstanding contributions made by women activists to their union each year.

Described as “a real change maker”, Terese is active in a variety of roles within the Mackay community.  Terese volunteers her time in union activities, committees and as an advocate for women in all that she does.  She particularly is passionate about ending domestic and family violence in the community.

Terese was honoured to receive the award, ““Emma Miller is an inspiring figure in both our union and women’s movement history, and I feel incredibly humbled by the company I find myself in with current and past awardees. No one gets an award like this on their own so I really want to thank all the strong feminist women who have supported, mentored and inspired me over the years”

Terese travelled to Brisbane to attend the Award Ceremony and was presented with the Award by Senator Claire Moore.

Congratulations to Terese and to all of the Awardees for their tireless advocacy of women –

Siva Lemisagele – National Union of Workers

Vanessa Mensah – Independent Education Unions Qld & NT Branch

Marnie Scobie – Electrical Trades Union

Margi Malezer – Queensland Teachers’ Union

Leanne Gorman – Rail, Tram and Bus Union

Tracey Bell – United Voice

Jacque Barnes – Community and Public Sector Union

Janice Wegner – National Tertiary Education Union

Gaye Kazakoff-Corr – Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union

Rachel Barley – Together

Sarah Brunton – Electrical Trades Union

Terese Kingston – The Services Union

September 17th, 2018|

Gender Equity: Professional Development for Catholic Education staff

Teachers play a central role in the early stages of all of our lives.  Importantly, they are well-positioned to shape positive gender-related attitudes and behaviours.  More than 180 staff from Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton [DoR] participated in professional development with Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence [QCDFVR] this month.  QCDFVR staff discussed contemporary challenges and provided strategies to empower school staff to create cultures that promote gender equity.

“Schools are ‘mini communities’ where respect and equality can be modelled, to help shape positive attitudes and behaviours at an early stage of life. They play a central role in teaching young people what violence against women looks like and how it can be prevented.” – Our Watch

Schools are not only places of learning and social interaction for students; they are also workplaces.  With this in mind, Catholic Education – DoR invited QCDFVR to present to our student protection leadership staff from across our diocese about domestic and family violence earlier this month.

The group heard from experienced lecturers and teachers in a series of presentations.  Experienced Domestic and Family Violence Educator, Judy Pidcock explored features of a whole-of-school approach to preventing and responding to domestic and family violence, citing the need for both cultural and procedural change.

Judy challenged staff to model respectful relationships and gender equality practices across the entire school community.

Gleeson C., Kearney S., Leung L. & Brislane J., 2015, Respectful Relationships Education in Schools, Our Watch Evidence Paper, p 20.

Research Professor in Gendered Violence, Annabel Taylor, discussed the impact of exposure to domestic and family violence on children.  In particular, Professor Taylor identified contemporary response interventions as well as the implications for school communities.  Dr Andrew Frost spoke about the relationship of coercion and control in domestic and family violence within the context of school environments.

Attendees at the conference appreciated the diverse presentations from the QCDFVR team which addressed the issue of domestic and family violence through the lens of contemporary evidence.

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence offers both accredited and non-accredited Professional Development opportunities for employers and workers.  Please contact the Centre on 07 4940 3320 or for more information, or visit our website


August 31st, 2018|