Griffith University researchers have embarked on a groundbreaking project to end violence against women, gaining one of the biggest single funding investments for a longitudinal study across Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.

Led by Monash University, the $35 million-dollar Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (CEVAW) will research and develop evidence-based approaches to improve policy and practice over seven years.

Supported by Griffith Asia Institute and Griffith’s Disrupting Violence Beacon, the new centre is another of the beacon’s major successes, building on its work in the creation and research of the BeThere app, as well as leveraging the Institute’s extensive partnerships in the region.

Griffith Asia institute Professor Sara Davies is the CEVAW Deputy Director for the Indo-Pacific region.

Griffith International Relations scholar Professor Sara Davies said the new centre will be a transformative, interdisciplinary knowledge hub, aiming to end the social drivers and norms that cause violence against women and is a massive undertaking.

“As the new Centre’s Deputy Director for the Indo-Pacific region, I understand how much context matters and we will be dedicated to collaborative research to understand what causes violence against women and recognise regional approaches to eliminate it,” Professor Davies said.

“We need a comprehensive understanding of how different legal, judicial, political and economic systems respond to violence against women, under conditions including climate change, conflict, and settler colonialism, so we can start to develop informed responses.

“The way we approach the research design is Indigenous centered, and this means we must value a community-first approach with equity and collaboration and giving back to communities.

“This commitment is vital in Australia as well as in the Asia and Pacific contexts where the Griffith Asia Institute has a long history of collaboration and partnered research.

Professor Patrick O’Leary will lead the centre’s Perpetrators and Bystanders workstream.

“Our expectations are bold, and our indicators will ensure research is communicated regularly and new resources are shared with communities.”

Leading the centre’s Perpetrators and Bystanders Workstream, internationally recognised researcher of gender-based violence and child protection Professor Patrick O’Leary said the centre has the capacity to break cycles of violence.

“I’m interested in the intersectional nature of violence such as trauma and how this affects both women and men, bringing an intergenerational impact on families to hopefully bring pathways out of violence and trauma,” Professor O’Leary said.

“We’re looking at engaging innovative, long-lasting community driven responses to break cycles of violence.

“This is one of the most comprehensive projects in the pursuit to end violence against women and all 14 research streams are interconnected and work together toward the same goal.

“The centre will not be confined to existing frameworks and strategies as many smaller studies often are but will break new ground with new strategies that haven’t been considered yet.”

10: Reduced Inequalities
UN Sustainable Development Goals 10: Reduced Inequalities

16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
UN Sustainable Development Goals 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

5: Gender Equality
UN Sustainable Development Goals 5: Gender Equality