Women’s perceptions of safety after domestic violence: exploring experiences of a safety contact program

Tania Westwood, Sarah Wendt, Kate Seymour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores women’s experiences of the women’s safety services associated with a South Australian integrated program for male perpetrators of domestic and family violence. As small scale and exploratory, the study aimed to understand impact of such services on women’s perceptions of safety. Interviews were conducted by telephone, using a semi-structured format, with 14 women
whose partners or ex-partners had been referred to a perpetrator intervention program. Informed by a feminist standpoint perspective, thematic analysis was used to explore each woman’s experience and perception of safety. The findings of the study suggest that integrated domestic and family violence programs can improve women’s feelings of safety through the application of practical safety
planning, timely intervention, emotional support, and trauma-focused practice. Importantly, while the behaviors and actions of perpetrators were clearly relevant to women’s perceived safety, it was apparent that focusing on women’s strengths and capacity for recovery can significantly impact on their continued sense of safety and well-being. This article also reiterates the importance of
women’s perspectives in evaluating the effectiveness of perpetrator interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-273
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Early online date8 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • domestic violence
  • evaluation
  • fear
  • integrated practice
  • women's safety
  • women’s safety


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