Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching (Honours) BA/BTch (Hons)


Education, Business & Science



First Advisor

Professor Phil Fitzsimmons

Second Advisor

Dr Peter Kilgour


130103 Higher Education, 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators


Current statistics detail the prevalence and rising issue of domestic violence in Australia. The ripple effects of this national issue reach into the school system, with domestic violence and its associated trauma impacting students emotionally, behaviourally, physically, and reducing cognitive processing in the classroom. Recent literature details the way in which teachers and educators stand on the front lines for combating this issue. The daily and continual proximity between students and teachers allows for a space of identification and support for students exposed to or victims of domestic violence and its associated trauma. The aim of this research project was to investigate the way in which pre-service teachers from one faith-based university are prepared to identify and effectively engage with students exposed or victim to domestic violence. Guided by inside/outside researcher methodology (Dwyer & Buckle, 2009; Amstrong and de Plessis, 1998), this study explored this issue acknowledging the multivocality present when the researcher has experienced the phenomena in focus. Employing mixed methods of data collection, including survey, semi-structured interviews, document analysis and reflective journaling, this research presents multiple perspectives of pre-service teachers regarding their understanding of domestic violence and its associated trauma. The results of the study concluded that pre-service teachers are already encountering issues related to domestic violence and its associated trauma during their undergraduate practicums; however, they did not feel prepared to effectively engage or support these students. Pre-service teachers also documented encounters of normalisation by educators and education institutions; also detailing that they felt their faith-based university was not preparing them to cope with the issue in the classroom. Pre-service teachers in this investigative study expressed a desire to be given the skills to recognise, effectively engage and provide support for students exposed to domestic violence and its associated trauma.


Used by permission: the author.

A print copy of this thesis is held in the Avondale College Library (SC Theses 362.82 C82).

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