Research + Projects

Pathways Towards Accountability

Mapping the journeys of perpetrators of family violence and the roles and responsibilities of services and agencies.

Many perpetrators of family violence are not kept within view of the justice and service system, often slipping through service gaps or dropping off the justice radar. In turn, the service system often struggles to know how to engage with people using family violence, leaving perpetrators unaccountable.

This project has been carried out for the Department of Premier and Cabinet in two phases.

Phase One,  Pathways Towards Accountability, was conducted in 2016, and mapped the journey of family violence perpetrators as the service system becomes aware of their behaviour. Through research and consultations around a range of service areas, the CIJ identified numerous opportunities for intervention and scrutiny.

In 2017 the CIJ embarked upon a more-detailed second phase of the project, Bringing Pathways Towards Accountability Together. This work supported the implementation of Recommendation 85 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which called on government to ‘map the roles and responsibilities of services and agencies in relation to perpetrator interventions’.

To do this, the CIJ developed a framework of roles and responsibilities which deliberately moved away from the siloed service approach on which the system has previously relied. Instead, the framework was based on the function and timing of an intervention or interaction in relation to a perpetrator of family violence. This framework was then tested with over 100 different service types during more than 20 workshops to confirm the extent to which it resonated with services. Activities of services were then mapped within this framework and an internal report of the results of this specific mapping exercise was provided to Government.

A further report by the CIJ explored the detail and concepts of the framework, preceded by a detailed consideration of the complexity involved in interventions with perpetrators; the stop and start pathways towards accountability that many users of family violence follow; and the barriers to service engagement that they experience. In particular, this report included the CIJ’s direct research with perpetrators regarding their own experiences of the service system.

This research has been informing the work of the Expert Committee on Perpetrator Interventions. It is due to be released in conjunction with the final report of this Expert Committee at a later date.

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Key People

Elena Campbell

Elena Campbell

Associate Director of Research, Advocacy & Policy

Elena is a lawyer, speechwriter and former political staffer who has worked in legal and social policy for nearly 20 years. Elena’s expertise includes therapeutic justice, equal opportunity and human rights, as well as the prevention and elimination of violence against women.

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Pathways Towards Accountability

Rodney Vlais