Our Research

Current Projects

Alternative reporting options for sexual assault: Investigating their use, purpose and potentials – Australian Institute of Criminology funded project (2020 – 2022): Associate Professor Georgina Heydon (RMIT University), Dr Rachel Loney-Howes (University of Wollongong) and Associate Professor Nicola Henry (RMIT University) are investigating the potential of anonymous sexual assault reporting options for criminal justice and victim-survivor outcomes. It is using Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria as three case study jurisdictions which have introduced anonymous reporting options for sexual assault. It analyses the use and potential of these reporting options and will offer new ways to enhance these mechanisms.

Technology-facilitated Abuse: Extent, nature and responses in the Australian community – ANROWS and DSS funded project (2020-2022): Associate Professor Asher Flynn (Monash University) and Associate Professor Anastasia Powell (RMIT University) are examining victim-survivor and perpetrator experiences of technology facilitated abuse in Australia. The study will be among the first to determine the extent and nature of technology facilitated abuse with a representative national survey, as well as in-depth qualitative interviews, and seeks to identify how can we more effectively disrupt, prevent and respond to these harms.

Respect. Now. Always. National Student Safety Survey – Universities Australia funded project (2019-2022): Dr Paul Myers (Social Research Centre) and Associate Professor Anastasia Powell (RMIT University) will undertake the second national survey of university student experiences of sexual assault and harassment, informing continuing response and prevention approaches in the sector.

Revenge pornography: The prevalence and nature of non-consensual imagery, and the implications for law reform – Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (2017-2021): RMIT researchers Associate Professors’ Nicola Henry and Anastasia Powell (RMIT University), along with their colleagues Associate Professor Asher Flynn (Monash University), Professor Clare McGlynn (Durham University), Professor Erika Rackley (Birmingham University) and Professor Nicola Gavey (University of Auckland), are conducting a world-first study of image-based sexual abuse (known colloquially as ‘revenge pornography’) across three countries: Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Recent Projects

Respectful Relationships, Pornography & Young People Project – Funded by VicHealth (2017): Dr Larissa Sandy and Associate Professor Anastasia Powell with Delanie Woodlock, Tully O’Neil and Joni Meenagh, examined promising education resources and programs that reach out to young people in the community on issues of respectful relationships, sexual consent, and pornography.

Evaluation of Taskforce Alexis: An integrated response to high risk family violence – Funded by the Salvation Army St Kilda Crisis Service (2015-2017): Dr Lisa Harris and Associate Professor Anastasia Powell, in conjunction with Victoria Police and the St Kilda Crisis Service, undertook an evaluation of Taskforce Alexis. Taskforce Alexis is a pilot project with Victoria Police that aims to provide a cross-sectorial coordinated response to high-risk recidivist family violence. 

Responding to Revenge Pornography: The scope, nature and impact of Australian criminal laws – Criminology Research Council Grant (2016-2017): Dr Anastasia Powell is leading the development and implementation of Australia’s first national survey of the nature and prevalence of image-based sexual violence (also known as ‘revenge pornography’). The broader project, led by La Trobe University and in collaboration with Monash University, investigates this rapidly emerging social harm from the perspectives of key stakeholders (such as legal services, police and support agencies) as well as the experiences of victims of image-based sexual violence.

Technology-facilitated sexual violence and harassment: violence against women in cyberspace and the implications for legislative and policy reform – Australian Research Council Discovery Project (2013-2015): This project led by Dr Anastasia Powell (with co-CI Dr Nicola Henry, La Trobe University), examined the ways in which technologies (including mobile phones, video recordings, online spaces, social media) are being used in connection with sexual violence and harassment against women. Publications from this project are featured in the international journals: Policing & Society, Trauma Violence & Abuse, Social & Legal Studies, and Violence Against Women

Promising Practice in Workplace Approaches to the Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women – Funded by OurWatch (2015): Dr Larissa Sandy and Dr Anastasia Powell with Jess Findling explored key elements of programs designed to prevent violence against women by promoting gender equity and respect in the workplace. The full report is available from OurWatch.