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 was carried out for the Department of Premier and Cabinet in two phases, with a final phase being carried out independently by the CIJ.

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, while a public report featuring the detail of the framework and findings from direct research with perpetrators regarding their own experiences of the service system can be found here. These first two phases of work have informed the work of the Expert Committee on Perpetrator Interventions.

A third and final publication, released in December 2019, has seen the CIJ collaborate with Stopping Family Violence, the peak body for perpetrator interventions in WA, to build on this work independently. This collaboration has produced a resource for practitioners and policymakers to consider how any interventions in relation to perpetrators must be based on a series of crucial foundation to ensure that these interventions work together and can effectively address, rather than inadvertently escalate risk.

All three reports can be accessed via the links below.

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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 over 20 years. Elena’s expertise includes therapeutic justice, women’s decarceration, equal opportunity and human rights, as well as the prevention and elimination of violence against women and children.

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Pathways Towards Accountability

Rodney Vlais