Modern Laptop

Research at Safe Haven Community (SHC) focuses on identifying and developing effective early intervention programs that provide long term positive outcomes for vulnerable people experiencing family and domestic violence.

SHC provides assistance to people escaping abusive relationships before the abuse escalates to physical violence. Prioritising people who experience coercive control prevents escalating domestic violence while simultaneously reducing the burden on family and domestic support services. This type of early intervention negates an immediate and a life-time of negative impacts that involve mental and physical health issues, negative education and relationship outcomes, the justice/legal system and homelessness.

Promoting a kinder community, we work with researchers from:



Modern Laptop

coercive control

financial literacy

Open Book

evaluation of A transitional accommodation PROGRAM   

The aim of this project is to determine the impact of an early intervention transitional accommodation program for people experiencing abusive relationships.


pdf icon.png
pdf icon.png
pdf icon.png

Dawson, L., Einboden, R., McCloughen, A., Buus, N. (2021). Beyond polyphony: Open Dialogue in a Women's Shelter in Australia as a possibility for supporting violence-informed practice. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 


Einboden, R., Rudge, T., & Varcoe, C. (2019). Beyond and around mandatory reporting in nursing practice: Interrupting a series of deferrals. Nursing Inquiry, 26(2), e12285.

Einboden, R., Varcoe, C. (2019). Ethical Issues in Healthcare for Women in the Context of Violence. In Lori dAgincourt-Canning and Carolyn Ells (Eds.), Ethical Issues in Women's Healthcare: Practice and Policy, (pp. 1-19). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Einboden, R. (2017). Nowhere to Stand: A critical discourse analysis of nurses' responses to child neglect and abuse. Doctoral Thesis, The University of Sydney.

Malvaso, C. G., Cale, J., Whitten, T., Day, A., Singh, S., Hackett, L., . . . Ross, S. (2021). Associations between adverse childhood experiences and trauma among young people who offend: a systematic literature review. Trauma, Violence and Abuse: a Review Journal, 1-10. 


Varcoe, C., Einboden, R. (2010). Family Violence and Ethics. In Janice Humphreys, Jacquelyn C. Campbell (Eds.), Family violence and nursing practice, (pp. 391-409). USA: Springer Publishing Company

West, T. (2021). Risk Factors Associated with Elder Financial Abuse. Social Science Research Network

West T, Mitchell E (2021). Australian women with good financial knowledge fare better in divorce. Australian Journal of Management

Whitten, T., Dean, K., Li, R., Laurens, K. R., Harris, F., Carr, V. J., & Green, M. J. (2021). Earlier contact with child protection services among children of parents with criminal convictions and mental disorders. Child Maltreatment, 26(1), 63-73. 

Whitten, T., Green, M. J., Tzoumakis, S., Laurens, K. R., Harris, F., Carr, V. J., & Dean, K. (2020). Children’s contact with police as a victim, person of interest and witness in New South Wales, Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 53(3), 1-24.

Whitten, T., Green, M., Laurens, K., Tzoumakis, S., Harris, F., Carr, V., & Dean, K. (2019). Parental offending and children’s emergency department presentations in New South Wales, Australia. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 27(9), 832-838.

Stack of Magazines

 Project 1

The term coercive control is increasingly used in the context of domestic violence to explain a particular set of controlling behaviours that are used to regulate the actions of an intimate partner. Coercive control undermines a person’s confidence, independence, well being, and safety, as well as isolates them from their support networks. Although in recent years the term has received increased attention among policy makers and support services, there remains confusion regarding how to define and measure coercive control. A better understanding of this type of behavior and how it is measured will guide policy makers, law enforcement agencies and support services in their endeavor to proactively introduce early intervention programs. 

The aim of this research is to identify a generic measure of coercive control that is easy to use and suitable for public policy and DV support services. Measures identified in the literature are matched to a set of criteria to ascertain their suitability as a detection tool within the context of early intervention DV support services operating in the Australian community. Suitable measures are then converted to an on-line mode and tested for effectiveness in meeting the needs of stakeholders. 


 Project 2

The 3 main foundations of good financial literacy are: Relevance; Interaction and Repetition and attention to these themes will maximise impact in regard to retention and learning outcomes. We will pilot a series of online webinars to deliver a structured financial literacy program to women experiencing or escaping coercive controlling relationships. Since it is often difficult for women to leave their homes, due to controlling relationships and the impact of COVID-19, the online webinar is an optimal learning platform which will reach a greater number of vulnerable individuals than the traditional face-to-face mode. We are converting and tailoring s programs from other contexts to suit this demographic, and the online environment.

The proposed initiative directly targets financial inclusion and resilience for people experiencing coercive control and financial abuse. Financially literate citizens promote stable communities and reduce income inequality. Financial literacy equips individuals with knowledge and skills to manage money effectively. Sound financial literacy promotes self sufficiency, confidence and good decision making to evaluate one's current and future financial position (Birkenmaier et al 2013).

with funding from