Victims of Domestic and Family Violence-Related Offences
This chapter presents experimental data about victims of selected Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) –related offences. Victims of selected offences have been determined to be FDV–related where the relationship of offender to victim, as stored on police recording systems, falls within a specified family or domestic relationship or where an FDV flag has been recorded, following a police investigation.
Key findings include:
This report usefully compiles and summarises current statistics on family violence, domestic violence and sexual violence from multiple sources. Its key points are:
The report also identifies important gaps in the current research on family, domestic and sexual violence. No or limited data is available on:
Discusses research over the past two decades in Australia and notes it has shown that violence generally, and particularly domestic violence, is mainly carried out by men.(p1) While there is evidence that both men and women are abusive in domestic relationships, most data show that men are more likely than women to be violent towards their partners. It reviews the findings of research and notes that these differ greatly according to the way the research is done, but they clearly show that the nature and results of men’s violence are different to that of women’s violence in a number of significant ways. In particular: men’s violence is more severe, and more likely to inflict severe injury; women are more likely to be killed by current or former male partners than by anyone else; and less than 10% of Australian male homicides are carried out by an intimate partner. When women do kill their male partners, there is a history of domestic violence in more than 70% of cases.’ (p1)Specifically in relation to female perpetrators of domestic violence, the authors note on p13 that ‘Although there is some evidence that both men and women engage in abusive behaviour in heterosexual relationships, the nature and consequence of women’s violence is not equivalent to men’s violence [in a number of ways]’, including severity, likelihood of being killed, and reasons for the violence.
Drawing on repeat victimisation studies, and analysing police data on domestic violence incidents, the current study examined the prevalence and correlates of short-term reoffending.
The results showed that a significant proportion of offenders reoffended in the weeks and months following a domestic violence incident. Individuals who reoffended more quickly were more likely to be involved in multiple incidents in a short period of time. Offenders with a history of domestic violence—particularly more frequent offending—and of breaching violence orders were more likely to reoffend. Most importantly, the risk of reoffending was cumulative, increasing with each subsequent incident.The findings have important implications for police and other frontline agencies responding to domestic violence, demonstrating the importance of targeted, timely and graduated responses.
Complex trauma can be explained as "multiple, repeated forms of interpersonal victimisation and the resulting traumatic health problems and psychosocial challenges". This report aimed to (1) analyse how complex trauma experienced by women is constructed in public policy and practice at national, state and territory levels; (2) examine institutional responses to women’s complex trauma in the mental health, alcohol and drugs, and sexual assault/domestic violence sectors in NSW and Queensland; (3) document how complex trauma is understood by women who have experienced it, as well as their encounters with agencies while seeking help; and (4) develop models of improved and collaborative responses to improve the wellbeing and safety of victims and their children.
Key results include: