Skip to Content

World first clinical trial to reduce violence expands to the Hunter

Last published on 08 Nov 2019 in Media Releases

A ground-breaking clinical trial aimed at reducing violence has officially been expanded to the Hunter region, Attorney General Mark Speakman announced today.

The ReINVEST trial is testing whether treatment with a common antidepressant is effective in reducing violent behaviour in highly impulsive men with a history of offending, including domestic violence.

“The NSW Government is committed to reducing domestic violence reoffending and protecting victims,” Mr Speakman said.

“This trial is just one part of a comprehensive program of activity to reduce domestic violence reoffending focused on intervening earlier, driving behaviour change and actively policing high-risk domestic violence offenders.

“When it comes to domestic violence, we owe it to victim-survivors and the community to explore every possible avenue to prevent reoffending.”

The double-blind, randomised trial is based on a well-established scientific association between impulsivity and offending behaviour.

Trial participants receive pharmacotherapy with other forms of treatment, including cognitive behavioural therapy. It’s multidiscipline approach targeting those with complex needs.

The Kirby Institute at the University of NSW is conducting the study with the support of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

“Early feedback from the trial is promising, showing a decline in impulsivity, anger and violent behaviour in some participants,” The Kirby Institute’s Professor Tony Butler said.

162 participants recruited from local courts and Community Corrections offices across Sydney and the Central Coast are currently taking part in the trial.

The Hunter launch takes in three new locations: Newcastle, Maitland and Toronto, all of which have been rolled out since July this year with Toronto having officially come online in October.

This expansion follows a trial in Sydney and the Central Coast that launched in 2014, with the NSW Government supporting the program from January 2018 and investing $5.35 million, to date.

For more information contact 1800 221 537 or

Download Media Release: World first clinical trial to reduce violence expands to the Hunter PDF, 159.24 KB

Was this content useful?