0.5 Child homicide

Deaths from assault provide an indication of the extent of extreme interpersonal violence towards children.

Interpersonal violence, including domestic violence and child abuse, is often associated with parental drug and alcohol misuse and mental health problems.

Due to small numbers, these data are aggregated over two-year periods.

Trend data: For all indicator displays, the yearly trend is limited to indicators with 3 or more years (including the current year) of comparable time series data. To see the trend click on “Yearly Trend” button on the display. Where 3 or more years of comparable data including the most recent year is not available, a “No time series data” message is shown on the display.

The figure shows the assault (homicide) death rate for children and young people aged 0–17 years, 2008–10 to 2016–18. The rate was 0.3 per 100,000 for 2016–18.

Source: AIHW analysis of Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) National Homicide Monitoring Program

See the supplementary data tables for further information and footnotes about these data.

Indicator technical specifications

The information below provides technical specifications for the summary indicator data presented in the quick reference guide.

National Framework Indicator 0.5 Child Homicide: Assault (homicide) death rate for children aged 0–17 years
  Definition Data source
Numerator Number of deaths of children aged 0–17 years from assault in the reference period Australian Institute of Criminology National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP)
Denominator Number of children aged 0–17 years at 31 December AIHW Population Database (sourced from ABS Australian Demographic Statistics)

Explanatory notes

There are two key sources of data for the NHMP: offence records derived from each state/territory police service, supplemented where necessary with information provided directly by investigating police officers and/or associated staff; and state coronial records such as toxicology and post-mortem reports.

The term homicide refers to a person killed (unlawfully). Homicide is defined by the criminal law of each state and territory, and varying definitions exist between jurisdictions in terms of its degree, culpability and intent.

The definition of homicide in the NHMP reflects the operational definition used by police throughout Australia. Excluded from this definition are attempted murder and violent deaths, such as industrial accidents involving criminal negligence (unless a charge of manslaughter is laid). Lawful homicide, including that by police in the course of their duties, is also excluded.

Due to the small number of homicide deaths, reported data are aggregated for a two-year period.