Hospitalisations for family and domestic violence

Some people who experience family and domestic violence require care from a health professional, and in some cases are admitted to hospital. The number of hospitalisations for injuries related to family and domestic violence provides an indication of the demand for these services. However, these data do not include presentations to emergency departments and will relate to more severe (and mostly physical) experiences of family and domestic violence. In addition, some people who are hospitalised may choose not to disclose their experience of family and domestic violence, or the information may not be fully recorded so their hospitalisations may not be counted here. Data are drawn from the AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

The visualisation below allows users to explore the rate of family and domestic violence hospitalisations, by sex over time. For each year examined, the age-standardised rate of family and domestic violence hospitalisations was over two times as high for females compared with males. Between 2017–18 and 2020–21 the age-standardised rate for females increased by 9.6% and the rate for males remained relatively stable. Changes in hospitalisation rates may be due to changes in disclosure rates, changes in identification of family and domestic violence by health professionals, and/or changes in the number of family and domestic violence events requiring hospitalisation.

Family and domestic violence hospitalisations, by sex, 200910 to 202021

The visualisation below allows users to explore the rate of family and domestic violence hospitalisations by relationship to perpetrator and sex, over time. Rates of hospitalisation where the perpetrator was a spouse or domestic partner were consistently around 6 times higher for females aged 15 years and over than for males. Hospitalisation patterns by sex were mixed for other perpetrator types (parent or other family member). 

Family and domestic violence hospitalisations, by relationship to perpetrator, 201718 to 202021

The visualisation below allows users to explore the rate of Indigenous family and domestic violence hospitalisations by relationship to perpetrator and sex, across age groups. It shows that between 2017–18 and 2020–21, age-standardised rates for Indigenous females were between 2.7 and 3.1 times as high as for Indigenous males.

Indigenous family and domestic violence hospitalisations, by sex, 201718 to 202021

The visualisation below allows users to explore the rate of family and domestic violence hospitalisations by relationship to perpetrator and sex, across age groups. In 2020–21, the number and rate of family and domestic hospitalisation were greater for females than males across all age groups. For females, the rate was highest for those aged 25–34, while for males the rate was highest for those aged 35–44.

Of hospitalisations due to intentional injury from a spouse or domestic partner, 87% involved a female, with rates for females consistently higher than males for all age groups. Patterns by sex and age were relatively similar for hospitalisation involving injuries by a parent or other family member.

Family and domestic violence hospitalisations by relationship to perpetrator, 2019–20 and 2020–21

Population groups

This information can be used to inform the development of more targeted programs and services for select population groups. 

The visualisation below allows users to explore the rate of family and domestic violence hospitalisations, by various population groups. In 2020–21, age-standardised rates of family and domestic violence hospitalisations:

  • were 31 times as high for Indigenous Australians than non-Indigenous Australians, with a larger difference for females (33 times higher than other Australian females) than males (27 times higher than other Australian males)
  • were highest for those living in the Northern Territory
  • increased with remoteness
  • were highest for those in the most disadvantaged socioeconomic areas compared to all other socioeconomic areas.

Family and domestic violence hospitalisations, for select population groups, 201920 and 202021