Family violence perpetrator focused screening and risk assessment: identifying current practice and future opportunities

About the project

The last five years have seen unprecedented attention at the national and state level to improving and reforming responses to domestic and family violence (DFV). The findings from recent reviews including the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Queensland Special Taskforce Not Now Not Ever Report and the work of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) have revealed the need to develop new policies and practices to better respond to perpetrators of family violence. While significant attention has been paid to ensuring risk identification, assessment and management practices are in place for DFV victim/survivors, there is scant understanding and practice in relation to perpetrators. As a result, opportunities to screen for, identify, assess and manage the risk that a perpetrator poses are often missed.

Project aims

This project will conduct the first national examination of current practices and future directions for screening, identifying, assessing and managing men’s risk of DFV perpetration across specialist men’s and mainstream services in Australia.

The project aims to:

  1. Address the current knowledge gap surrounding DFV screening and risk assessment practices among services responding to identified DFV perpetrators,
  2. Identify current screening, risk identification and referral practices for DFV in men accessing non-DFV specific services,
  3. Examine current risk assessment practices for men identified as DFV perpetrators and critically examine how this translates into information sharing and coordinated risk monitoring and management, and
  4. Develop policy and practice guidelines and recommendations to inform better perpetrator screening, risk assessment and management practice across Australian state and territory jurisdictions.

Effectively identifying the risk of DFV perpetration along with its escalation is a crucial element in working towards safer lives for victims and children affected by DFV across Australia.

Project design

To achieve its aims, the project adopts a multi methods research design that combines qualitative and quantitative data collection, including a scoping review, a national survey and practitioner focus groups. This will allow the research to capture current practice, to identify better practice and future challenges, and to develop new knowledge and practice recommendations. The project findings will be relevant to all Australian states and territories and will be disseminated using a range of strategies, with a particular focus on knowledge translation to practitioners and policy makers.


Chief investigators

The project team comprises experts on family violence, perpetrators and risk from the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre and No To Violence.

  • Associate Professor Silke Meyer
  • Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon
  • Dr Tess Bartlett
  • Ms Simone Tassone (No to Violence)
  • Commissioner Peter Martin (Queensland Corrective Services)

More information

Associate Professor Silke Meyer and Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon