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Monday, September 16 • 2:30pm - 3:00pm
The Perpetrator Perspective: Breaking down the barriers in family violence research and evaluation

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Luke Condon (Deloitte), Kate Palmer (Deloitte Access Economics), Sasha Zegenhagen (Deloitte Access Economics), Karen Kellard (Social Research Centre), Scott Pennay (Social Research Centre), Jenny Anderson (Department of Health and Human Services), Sally Finlay (Family Safety Victoria), Ilana Jaffe (Family Safety Victoria)

The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence placed a strong emphasis on the need to better understand who is experiencing family violence, their circumstances, and how they can be supported. The unique experiences of both the victim and the perpetrator are critical to measuring the impact of family violence programs, and contributing to best practice for changing the behaviour of people who use violence. However, engaging with perpetrators and victims presents an ethical minefield. It requires us to 're-evaluate' our approach to evaluation, view risks from a different lens, and think outside the box, all whilst meeting ethical standards.

In Victoria, interventions to address perpetrator behaviour are being redefined to be both broader and better integrated into wider family violence responses. This includes improving the inclusivity of these programs to better target the diverse needs and circumstances of perpetrators of family violence. Evaluation of these new programs will inform policy and drive system improvement, making it more responsive to the needs of our diverse community. As such, it is important to understand the perspective of the 'service users' and how their experience is contributing to evidence of outcomes. Inclusion of the perpetrator and victim voice within the evaluation design requires complex consideration of the potential risks involved for both victim and researcher, balanced with the anticipated benefits of the research at both an individual and community-wide level.

Drawing on the perspective and expertise of program service providers is key to understanding and addressing the broad range of considerations and sensitivities when engaging with this typically complex population. From recruitment strategies, to participant incentives, and discussion guides, the standard methods do not apply, and a 'one-size-fits-all' approach does not work. We discuss how a collaborative approach to evaluation design is key to ensuring research is centred on the needs of participants, thus maximising the positive impact of perpetrator programs in the future.

avatar for Christina Kadmos

Christina Kadmos

Principal, Kalico Consulting

avatar for Luke Condon

Luke Condon

Partner, Deloitte Access Economics
I've been an evaluator for around 12 years after originally starting my career in the public sector. My clients are primarly state and federal government and while my main areas of focus are health, justice and community services I've done evaluations on all sorts of topics. I enjoy... Read More →
avatar for Karen Kellard

Karen Kellard

Director, Social Research Centre (SRC)
Karen Kellard is the Exec Director of the Qualitative Research Unit at the Social Research Centre (owned by the Australian National University) in Melbourne, Australia. Her interests are in the use of qualitative approaches in evaluation, and in conducting research on sensitive topics... Read More →
avatar for Jenny Anderson

Jenny Anderson

Dr, Movember
My organisation Movember is dedicated to changing the face of men's health. We are a leading global men’s health organisation that focuses on three key health areas: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. Funds raised are directed into research... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 2:30pm - 3:00pm AEST