Physical and/or sexual family and domestic violence

Understanding the nature and prevalence of family and domestic violence can inform the development and evaluation of policies, programs and services to prevent and better respond to the issue. While every experience is very personal and different, it is most common for this type of violence to be perpetrated against women, by men. Data on the prevalence of physical and/or sexual family and domestic violence in Australia is available from the ABS Personal Safety Survey (PSS) which collects information on the experiences of violence for women and men in Australia.

The visualisation below allows users to explore the estimate and proportion of Australians aged 18 and over who have experienced physical and/or sexual family and/or domestic violence at least once since the age of 15 (lifetime prevalence), and at least once in the last 12 months (12 month prevalence), by sex of victim, and relationship with perpetrator.

Prevalence of physical and/or sexual family and domestic violence, by sex, 2016

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Time series

The most common instances of family violence occur in intimate partner relationships. Examining the prevalence of intimate partner violence over time can help to identify patterns in violence and evaluate the possible impact of changes in policy and programs.

The visualisation below shows the proportion of Australians aged 18 and over, who have experienced violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey, by sex and type of intimate partner at three time points. There was no statistically significant change over time, for either sex and/or partner type.    

Proportion of people who have experienced intimate partner violence in the last 12 months, by sex, 2005, 2012 and 2016

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Population groups

Examining the prevalence of family and domestic violence across different population groups can help to identify those groups at higher risk. This information can be used to inform the development of more targeted programs and services for victims and perpetrators of family and domestic violence. Of particular interest, are the differences between population groups for violence between partners.

The visualisation below shows the estimated number and proportion of people aged 18 and over, by sex, in different population groups who have experienced different types of violence by a current or previous partner in the 12 months prior to the survey.

12 month prevalence of partner violence, by population group and sex, 2016

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