Engaging men who use violence: Invitational narrative approaches (Research Report)

Sarah Wendt, Kate Seymour, Fiona Buchanan, Chris Dolman, Natalie Greenland

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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This study investigated invitational narrative ways of working with the aim of better understanding its use with perpetrators of domestic and family violence. It highlights the invitational narrative commitment to the power of narratives and
storytelling for engaging men who use violence against women and children. The study found that invitational narrative approaches are distinguished by the commitment to open, contextualised and responsive practice in which men are supported to reach their own realisations within the context of their individual lives. It is for this reason that invitational narrative approaches can be responsive to men who use violence in their intimate partner relationships. The positioning of (perpetrator) accountability as a political project is also noteworthy, reflecting the grounding of invitational narrative approaches in a critical understanding of structural power relations as the context for gendered privilege and entitlement. The gendered analysis of power in the approach also ensures the privileging of women’s voices and centring of women and children’s safety. Given their emphasis on rich, contextualised conversation, invitational narrative approaches
are relatively time and resource intensive but provide the potential for longer term, sustainable change among men who use violence in their intimate partner relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSydney, NSW
PublisherAustralia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS)
Commissioning bodyAustralia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS)
Number of pages112
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-925925-12-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-925925-11-1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Creative Commons LicenceAttribution-Non Commercial. CC BY-NC. This licence lets others distribute, remix and build upon the work, but only if it is for non-commercial purposes and they credit the original creator/s (and any other nominated parties). They do not have to license their Derivative Works on the same terms.


  • domestic violence
  • family violence
  • male perpetrators of violence


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