3.5 Domestic violence

Domestic violence is a key risk factor for child abuse and neglect. Children living with domestic violence are at high risk of experiencing physical abuse, and the complex trauma caused by living in such an environment can have profound long-term psychological effects. Children who witness domestic violence have been shown to have significantly poorer developmental and behavioural outcomes. Domestic violence is also linked with homelessness and housing instability for victims fleeing violent partners.

This indicator reports on the population of adults, who had children in their care, and who experienced current partner violence in the 12 months prior to the reported period or since they were 15 years of age.

For all indicator displays, where all years of data are comparable over time an ‘All’ category will be provided as an option in the ‘Year’ drop down display. If only a selection of specific years are comparable, these years (e.g. 2017 to 2019) will be provided as an option under ‘Year’ and ‘All’ will not be an option. See the footnotes for this indicator in the supplementary tables hyperlink below for further information.

See the XLS Downloadsupplementary table for this indicator 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 XLS Downloadquick reference guide.

National Framework Indicator 3.5 Domestic violence: Proportion of adults who experienced current partner violence and their children saw or heard the violence in the previous 12 months
  Definition Data source
Numerator Number of adults aged 18 years and over who experienced current partner violence, had children in their care when the violence occurred in the previous 12 months, and the children saw or heard the violence ABS Personal Safety Survey
Denominator Number of adults aged 18 years and over who experienced current partner violence, and had children in their care when the violence occurred in the previous 12 months ABS Personal Safety Survey

Explanatory notes

The indicator reflects the number of adults who experienced partner violence and had children in their care, not the number of children exposed to current partner violence. Some adults may have had multiple children in their care.

Due to the sensitive nature of the information being collected, the self-reported data may underestimate the number of adults with children exposed to partner violence. However, special procedures were used to ensure the safety of those participating and the reliability of the data provided.

Some estimates have high relative standard errors and should be used with caution.

See the XLS Downloadsupplementary table for this indicator for further information and footnotes about these data.