The PIPA project examined legal and service interventions across three jurisdictions at different stages of legislative, policy and definitional development (Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania).

The project aimed to:

  • interrogate how (and whether) AVITH was being met with a legal response in legislative and service settings across the different jurisdictions
  • explore overall awareness of AVITH across varied service and legal constellations
  • explore the narrative behind AVITH: this included examining what had occurred in the lives of adolescents before, and at the time, that they had experienced a legal response, as well as what this response had meant for adolescents and their families once intervention had occurred.

The research involved focus groups and interviews across the three jurisdictions with participants from specialist family violence (including adolescent-specific) services; wider social and statutory services; and legal practitioners, court staff and police. Complementing this qualitative approach, a mixed methods review of legal case files from across the participating jurisdictions was undertaken.

Main recommendations:

  • Invest in the development of expertise in AVITH across the family violence, legal, disability, mental health and other relevant service sectors.
  • Ensure that legal responses assess the capacity of young people to understand and comply with civil protection orders, as well as criminal justice processes.
  • Ensure that legal responses have access to information about risk across whole-of-family settings.
  • Increase focus on early intervention in childhood experience of trauma and violence.
  • Develop evidence-based and trauma-informed AVITH-specific interventions that include capacity for outreach, case management and restorative engagement, and build capacity for whole-of-family approaches.
  • Support the development of strengths-based and community-led interventions that respond appropriately to AVITH in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
  • Invest significant policy attention and inquiry into the disproportionate rates of adolescents with disability coming into contact with justice system settings.


Publication Details
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