General FAQs

How can I use the Evidence Portal to find a program or strategy that works?

The Evidence Portal’s Intervention Finder is a customised search engine for seeking out particular Intervention Reviews. Users can filter, for example, by type of violence, target population, outcomes, mode of delivery, or search via keyword or phrase. Intervention reviews have a dedicated “Impact” section that will provide guidance around whether an intervention may work or not. The benefit of using our website for this is that we have aggregated across multiple primary studies, so a user only needs to read one short section to find out if an intervention works. 

The Evidence Portal’s Evidence and Gap Maps (EGMs) also allow users to search for programs or strategies to view existing evaluations as well as gaps in knowledge. Users can select from a series of filters on the EGMs to examine finer detail about interventions, like the populations they target or their delivery setting. EGMs provide a bigger picture overview of the knowledge base, and do not comment on whether an intervention works. You can use the EGMs to find citations for primary studies and systematic reviews that engage with this question. 

What can the Intervention Reviews tell me?

The Intervention Reviews provide users with made-for-purpose reviews of interventions. These summarise information on the mode of delivery, key populations targeted and any costs associated with the intervention. They are drawn from highquality evidence and created by following a rigorous methodology, ensuring readers are presented with accurate information on whether a particular intervention works to address violence against women.   

What can the Evidence and Gap Maps tell me?

The EGMs give users a visual overview of the available evidence and gaps in the knowledge base. Users can select from a series of filters on the EGMs to examine finer details about interventions, like the populations they target or their delivery setting. 

Do you endorse all interventions in the Evidence Portal?

ANROWS does not necessarily endorse interventions included in the Evidence Portal, and we urge all audiences to examine intervention suitability and applicability critically 

What types of violence do the studies in the Evidence Portal cover?

The Evidence Portal is concerned with types of violence that disproportionately affect women, or which are directed at them because they are women. These ‘types’ of violence against women that are eligible for the Evidence Portal: 

  • Intimate partner violence, including physical violence, sexual violence, and emotionally abusive, harassing and controlling behaviour that occurs between current or former established intimate partners 
  • Children’s experience of parental intimate partner violence 
  • Non-partner sexual violence: sexual harassment, threats or stalking or sexual assault from a someone who is not an established intimate partner, such as a stranger, friend, acquaintance, or romantic interest. 
  • Child-to-parent violence, including physical violence, sexual violence or emotionally abusive, harassing and controlling behaviour perpetrated by an adolescent or child against their parent or carer 
  • Extended family violence: physical violence or emotionally abusive, harassing and controlling behaviour perpetrated by extended family members against someone in current, past, or proposed intimate partner relationship. This includes dowry abuse, honour killings, forced marriages and extended family and in-law abuse 


How do you define the "domains" used in the Evidence and Gap Maps?

The domains used in the Evidence Portal are informed by The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032. You can read more about this approach in our Methodology Report. 

Definitions of the domains used are provided below: 


  • Prevention: to prevent the likelihood of violence against women happening by changing attitudes, knowledge and behaviours. This includes both ‘universal’ and ‘targeted’ prevention 
  • Early intervention: to identify violence against women as early as possible and connect individuals to services 
  • Response: to improve the safety of victims and survivors of violence against women and address their immediate needs and/or to respond appropriately to perpetrators of violence against women and reduce their offending 
  • Recovery and healing: to improve the long-term mental health and well-being of victims and survivors of violence against women, and children who have experienced violence between parents/caregivers 


How old are the studies?

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women was the first international instrument that explicitly defined and addressed this form of violence. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 1993, so we expect that studies which fit within our definition of violence against women are likely to have entered publication from January 1994. Currently, we include studies that were published between this date and December 2022, although we will expand this to include future years as we continue building the Evidence Portal.  

For detailed information about our methodology, please read the Evidence Portal Methodology Report.

Is the Evidence Portal free to use?

Subject to continued funding, the Evidence Portal website will be freely accessible to all users.  

Key concepts and terminology

What counts as an "intervention"?

We define an “intervention” as any program, strategy, tool, campaign, directive or other activity designed to produce change or address a problem. The Evidence Portal’s scope is primarily social, psychological and justice interventions and we don’t include purely pharmacological, hormonal or surgical interventions, such as those for physical injuries following an assault. We do include these if they are paired with another intervention (e.g., psychological therapy coupled with antidepressants).

What counts as an "outcome"?

We define “outcome” as the construct upon which the intervention is being evaluated. It is, literally, the ‘outcome’ for people who experienced the intervention. It can also be conceptualised as the judgement about the ‘worth, merit or value’ of an intervention within an evaluation. When we think about outcomes, we ask ourselves: what is being measured or tested in the study?

What counts as an "evaluation"?

An evaluation is the systematic process of assessing what you do and how you do it to arrive at a judgement about the “worth, merit or value” of something. Evaluation involves taking a series of planned steps to better understand an intervention. Impact evaluations of interventions compare participants to other people and/or themselves at different points in time (e.g., before and after receiving the intervention). It’s this comparison that lets us assess whether an intervention may be effective at changing outcomes for the participants. 

What is an "effectiveness estimate"?

The effectiveness estimate measures and assesses the intervention’s ability to meet its objective. It allows a visual to be presented against intervention outcomes. This provides policymakers, academics, commissioners, funders, and other audiences with a clear guide indicating works and what doesn’t. Read more about our effectiveness estimate here.

Why do some studies use the terminology “batterer” or “battered woman”?

Over time, the language used to address violence against women has evolved. The Evidence Portal captures all studies that meet our inclusion criteria, despite what terminology is used. This means that some studies will use the term “batterer or “battered woman” and other language no longer preferred in the field. 


How did you determine your key populations for the Intervention Reviews?

Our intervention reviews aim to provide users with information on whether the intervention has been studied with six key population categories: 

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities 
  • Sexuality and gender diverse/LGBTIQA+  
  • Specific age groups  
  • Culturally diverse, migrant and refugee background  
  • Disability 

The inclusion of these populations was guided by the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 and Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children: 2020-2022. 

Do you include LGBTIQA+ populations? 

Yes, we include studies with LGBTQIA+ participants. However, we do not include gay men who are victims and survivors or perpetrators of intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence, because these relationships and violence do not involve women.  

Why can’t I find information on a specific population I am interested in?

To ensure we capture the nuances within the populations studied in eligible interventions for the Evidence Portal, we capture detailed demographic information, including race, ethnicity, income, and employment status of study participants.However, please note that a lack of studies on a population may indicate a knowledge gap. This knowledge gap may occur if studies are either not targeting specific populations, or they do not analyse the population status as a variable.

Does the Evidence Portal include children?

We exclude interventions designed specifically to address violence against children, including:  

  • female genital mutilation 
  • child marriage  
  • parental abuse of children 
  • child sexual abuse  
  • child-to-child violence, including bullying 
  • inter-sibling violence. 

There are other evidence portals and EGM initiatives that examine interventions designed for these violence types and populations. We list some of these in Appendix A of our Methodology Report. 




How comprehensive is the Evidence Portal’s systematic search? 

The search covers 39 academic databases and over 170 grey literature sources. The search combines a comprehensive set of terms used to describe violence against women with evaluation and intervention terms. Search strings were constructed using Boolean operators on the following fields, adjusting for each database as needed: title, abstract, keywords and indexing/subject terms. 

For detailed information about our methodology, please read the Evidence Portal Methodology Report.

Do you include process evaluations? 

The Evidence Portal only includes impact evaluations. However, to recognise the value that implementation and process evaluations hold, we provide citations and links to these types of studies. You can find these in the References and Further Reading section of each intervention review. 

Do you include qualitative research? 

Qualitative impact evaluations are included because the Evidence Portal seeks to provide a comprehensive survey of literature on interventions that complements the quantitative evidence base. The Evidence Portal recognises that qualitative data can offer rich and diverse perspectives regarding participants’ experiences and perspectives of an intervention that cannot necessarily be garnered from quantitative research.  

Can I cite the Evidence Portal?

Yes. If you wish to cite the Evidence Portal as a whole, please use this citation format:  

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2023, 7 Sept). ANROWS Evidence Portal. ANROWS. https://evidenceportal.au/ 

If you wish to cite the Evidence and Gap Maps, please use this citation format: 

ANROWS Evidence Portal. (2023). Recovery and healing – Evidence and Gap Map (EGM) [Data set]. ANROWS Evidence Portal. https://evidenceportal.au/recovery-healing/ 

A citation is provided for each Intervention Review, should you wish to cite a particular review. 

Intervention Finder & Reviews

Use this tool to find and filter interventions and learn about their components and effectiveness.

Evidence & Gap Maps

Use the Evidence & Gap Maps to access a visual representation of existing evidence (and evidence gaps), and filter by specific interventions and outcome types.