Faith communities supporting healthy family relationships

Project Details

Faith communities play an important role in many Victorians’ lives. Faith leaders provide guidance and support to member of their communities, and many provide invaluable support to women experiencing violence. However, faith communities may present barriers to women seeking help and all evidence suggests that the prevalence of violence against women in faith communities is at least as high as in the general community. The Faith Communities Supporting Healthy Family Relationships project aimed to generate evidence about effective strategies for building the capacity of faith leaders to prevent and respond to family violence and violence against women in faith communities.  The project was developed in partnership with the Multifaith Advisory Group to the Victorian Multicultural Commission, the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, and collaborating faith communities.


A/Prof Cathy Vaughan

Erin Davis

Dr Lila Moosad

Claire Sullivan


Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Buddhist Council of Victoria, Faith Communities’ Council of Victoria, Victorian Sikh Gurdwara Council, and the Uniting Church of Victoria and Tasmania.


Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet

Research Outcomes

This video from the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health translates our evidence guide into key tips for implementing projects for preventing violence against women in faith communities:

Research Publications

Vaughan, C., & Sullivan, C. (2019). Technical Paper: Faith communities supporting healthy family relationships: A Participatory Action Research project with the Multifaith Advisory Group. University of Melbourne.

Evidence Guide:

Vaughan, C., Sullivan, C., Chen, J., & Vaid Sandhu, M. (2020). What works to address violence against women and family violence within faith settings: An evidence guide. University of Melbourne.

Key Lessons Report:

Davis, E., Vaughan, C., Moosad, L. & Sullivan, C. (2021). Key Lessons from Faith Communities Supporting Healthy Relationships: A Participatory Action Research Project with the Multifaith Advisory Group. Melbourne, VIC: University of Melbourne.

Technical Report:

Research Group

Gender and Women's Health Unit

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

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