New website brings together evidence about family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia

Content warning: This media release contains information some readers may find distressing as it refers to data about family, domestic and sexual violence.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has launched a website dedicated to reporting on family, domestic and sexual violence. For the first time in Australia, the website comprehensively brings together over 30 national data sources on family, domestic and sexual violence and highlights data and information gaps.

AIHW spokesperson Sally Mills said the website includes new statistics about children who experience family and domestic violence (FDV).

‘For children and young people who experience family, domestic and sexual violence, the harm caused can be serious and long-lasting affecting their health, wellbeing, education, and social and emotional development.’ Ms Mills said.

‘Services in the community play an important role in responding to violence. Bringing together information on these services, such as hospitals and specialist homelessness services, helps us better understand how people are assisted.’ 

New statistics from the AIHW show that more than half (55%, or about 285) of assault injury hospitalisations in 2021–22 involving children 0–14 years, where the perpetrator was specified, were FDV-related.

Among hospitalisations for FDV–related injuries in 2021–22, the most common perpetrators were parents (72% or about 205) among children aged 0–14, domestic partners (74% or about 600) for females aged 15–24 and other family members (58% or about 165) for males aged 15–24.

Family and domestic violence is also one of the main reasons that women and children lose or are at risk of losing their home. 

Over half (54% or 23,300) of children aged 0–9 who were supported by specialist homelessness services in 2021–22, had experienced family and domestic violence. The majority (71%, or about 13,400) of young people 15-24 years who had experienced FDV presented to a service alone, with nearly 4 times as many females (10,700) as males (2,700). 

Other data sources provide further insight on the experience of family, domestic and sexual violence among children and young people.  

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021–22 Personal Safety Survey indicate that 13% of adults had witnessed partner violence against a parent when they were children. More people (12% or 2.2 million) had witnessed violence against their mothers than towards their fathers (4.3% or 837,000).’

‘The evidence on this website will be used to inform national initiatives to address family, domestic and sexual violence, including early intervention and assistance for children and young people, and monitor changes in service use and outcomes over time,’ Ms Mills said.

‘For the first time, written contributions from people with lived experience of family, domestic and sexual violence are included in the AIHW reporting on FDV. These contributions complement the national data reporting and provide valuable insights from people with lived experience.’ 

Funding and support for the website is provided by the Department of Social Services.

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