Strengthening the Domestic and Family Violence Workforce: Key Questions

Sarah Charmaine Wendt, Kristin Agnes Natalier, Kate Seymour, Debra King, Kirsten Marie Macaitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The significant impact of domestic and family violence in Australia calls for a workforce that is both highly skilled and capable of meeting the demands of complex and challenging jobs. Yet despite the increasingly national visibility of domestic violence, the workers—and work itself—have largely remained invisible. We argue for a shift in conversation, highlighting the need for a workforce approach that is not only strategic but that also applies a theorised lens to domestic and family violence work inclusive of both gender and Indigeneity. IMPLICATIONS The domestic and family violence workforce and workers should be made more visible to better support development in this sector. A workforce development strategy is needed to build knowledge about who is doing this work, the nature of the work, workplace structures and cultures, and work environments and conditions. The significance of gendered power relations, Indigeneity, high risk, trauma environments, and emotional labour in domestic and family violence work cannot be ignored in development strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-244
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020


  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Violence
  • Workforce


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