Family, domestic and sexual violence is usually defined by a set of violent behaviours between either family members, or current or former intimate partners. Violent behaviour can include physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse (including limiting access to finances, exclusion from contacting family and friends, demeaning and humiliation and any threats of injury or death directed at the victim or their children) .
The Personal Safety Survey (PSS) is the most comprehensive data source of the experience of interpersonal violence in Australia. According to the 2012 PSS, an estimated 1 in 2 (49%) men aged 18 and over had experienced violence since the age of 15, compared with 41% of all women aged 18 and over. However, a higher percentage of women than men had reported experiencing violence from a current or former cohabiting partner (17% of all women aged 18 and over, compared with 5% of all men aged 18 and over) .
Violence can have a severe impact on the physical, mental and behavioural health of women and children. The consequences of violence can be immediate and acute, long-lasting and chronic, or in some cases, fatal . In 2013–14, just over 20,000 people (13,800 males and 6,300 females) were admitted to hospital for assault injuries . The overall rate of assault injury among women and girls was 56 cases per 100,000 population compared with 121 for men. For females hospitalised for assault injuries, 59% of hospitalisations involved a perpetrator who was a spouse or domestic partner (for cases where the perpetrator was specified).
Understanding the prevalence and extent of victims’ experiences of violence relies on data collected through surveys, or via data collected primarily for administrative purposes (such as police, health or specialised services data). These data sources rely on:
Under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022, all Australian governments are committed to the development of a National Data Collection and Reporting Framework (DCRF), which has been led by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) . This framework is the basis for building a common language and a coordinated and consolidated approach to service-level data collection.
The AIHW is building on this work by developing, in partnership with the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the ABS, a national family, domestic and sexual violence data clearinghouse and national report. The data clearinghouse will:
The AIHW has also been assisting DSS to develop a set of progress indicators related to the National Outcome Standards for Perpetrator Interventions, and will be preparing annual reports against these indicators starting with 2015–16 data .
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