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Senior Researcher in Domestic and Family Violence, University of South Australia

I have a Bachelors in Human Sciences (Psychology), a Masters in Education (Guidance & Counselling) and a PhD (Criminology).

I am currently working at Safe Relationships & Communities, UniSA Justice and Society, University of South Australia.

My background is cross-disciplinary including psychology, Islamic studies, education, and criminology. My expertise is in building healthy family relationships including intimate partner violence (IPV) in Muslim communities and have been involved in many cross-cultural training activities with service providers on IPV and Muslim related issues.

My research background has driven her work in building healthy family relationships among faith-based and culturally & linguistically diverse communities, community work at grass-root level to set up culturally and religiously appropriate services for survivors/victims of family violence, perpetrators, families afflicted with domestic violence and children that grow up in those homes. My focus is on a preventative and recovery approach.

As a Community Advocate, I have set up a number of programs to facilitate healthy family relationships within the Muslim community that utilises the Muslim worldview and underpinned with a strength-based approach. Two programs specifically have gained traction and has been offered multiple times in Brisbane and Melbourne through various collaborations: the 2-Day intensive Family Violence Upskilling of Faith/Community Leaders and 13-session inspiredNAFSi personal leadership program for healing domestic violence. Current collaboration in South Australia is on the Building Resilence in Diverse Groups & Ethnicities to Strengthen Families (BRIDGE-SF). The BRIDGE-SF addresses 2 clusters: Healthy Family Relationships and Safe Adolescence.

Prior to joining UniSA, I worked for the Centre of Domestic and Family Violence Research at CQUniversity, Queensland. I have worked on the ANROWS (Australian Nataional Research Organisation for Women's Safety) commissioned project on Domestic and family violence protection orders in Australia: An investigation of information sharing and enforcement that entailed surveying police, magistrates, lawyers and victim advocates about their views on enforcement of DVPOs. The project also involved interviews with domestic and family violence (DFV) victims and their cross-border experiences of DVPOs. There are a number of publications that are available on the ANROWS website related to this national research.

Under the Canadian Observatory for Justice Responses to Domestic Violence (along with the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Griffith University) I undertook Post-Doc research into Muslim victims/survivors past experiences with the Criminal Justice System (CJS) where I interviewed IPV survivors to identify why they report (and do not) report incidents of DFV and the barriers they encounter in accessing the CJS. I have also done research that has documented IPV prevalence in the Queensland Muslim community and looked at risk factors that contribute towards IPV perpetration and victimisation and skewed IPV attitudes/beliefs. Publications of findings are currently underway.

I have been actively involved with various stakeholders via cross-cultural training to create awareness of IPV/DFV issues related to Muslims and how to address them and is currently involved in equipping faith-based leaders on appropriate skills and knowledge on IPV/DFV related issues to make them more accessible to Muslim victims of DFV.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Research Fellow in Domestic and Family Violence, University of South Australia

Education

  • 2013 
    Griffith University, Doctor of Philosophy (Criminology)