We have collected the latest facts and figures on men’s violence against women, including domestic violence statistics. These statistics show you the impact of domestic violence on women and children in Australia.
Domestic Violence Statistics
These statistics on domestic violence, emotional abuse and murder demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women in Australia.
On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
Bryant, W. & Bricknall, S. (2017). Homicide in Australia 2012-2014: National Homicide Monitoring Program report. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. Retrieved from https://aic.gov.au/publications/sr/sr002
1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15.
1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
85% of Australian women have been sexually harassed.
Almost 40% of women continued to experience violence from their partner while temporarily separated.
1 in 6 women have experienced stalking since the age of 15.
Statistics indicate that domestic violence rates are higher in rural and regional NSW.
Grech, K. and Burgess, M. (2011). Trends and patterns in domestic violence assaults: 2001 to 2010. Bureau of Statistics, Issue Paper no. 61. Sydney: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Retrieved from https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Documents/BB/bb61.pdf
Impact on health
Statistics show that domestic violence has a negative impact on a woman’s health, including mental health.
Intimate partner violence is a leading contributor to illness, disability and premature death for women aged 18-44.
Ayre et al. (2016). Examination of the burden of disease of intimate partner violence against women in 2011. Sydney: ANROWS. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2W1LzfV
Children and young people
These statistics show that many young people are exposed to domestic violence, and experience child abuse, harassment and family violence. This has an impact on their social well-being and mental health.
Young people have an important role to play in breaking cycles of violence. By challenging the sexist attitudes and behaviours of young people, and promoting respectful relationships, we can stop the violence before it starts.
Find out more about our Breaking the Silence Schools Program.
1 in 6 women experienced abuse before the age of fifteen.
Children of mothers experiencing domestic violence have higher rates of social and emotional problems than other children.
Shin H., Rogers H. & Law V. (2015). Domestic violence in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Canberra: Department of Social Services.
1 in 4 young people think it’s pretty normal for guys to pressure girls into sex.
Website: Hall and Partners Open Mind. (2015). The Line campaign. Summary of Research Findings. Melbourne: Our Watch. Retrieved from: https://www.ourwatch.org.au/Media-Resources?c=TheLine
1 in 5 students have been sexually harassed in a university setting.
Australian Human Rights Commission. (2017). Change The Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities. Sydney: AHRC. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/2tSAdgV
1 in 3 women aged 18-24 have experienced sexual harassment.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety, Australia, 2016 cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2xqbuUn
1 in 3 young people don’t think controlling someone is a form of violence.
Hall and Partners Open Mind. (2015). The Line campaign. Summary of Research Findings. Melbourne: Our Watch. Retrieved from: https://www.ourwatch.org.au/Media-Resources?c=TheLine
1 in 4 young people don’t think it’s serious when guys insult or verbally harass girls in the street.
Hall and Partners Open Mind. (2015). The Line campaign. Summary of Research Findings. Melbourne: Our Watch. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2Cd1O5c
1 in 3 young people presenting alone to homelessness services have experienced domestic violence.
Source: AIHW (2018). Specialist Homelessness Services Annual Report 2016-17. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2RHwr6h
Statistics on the economic costs of violence against women prove that this issue impacts everyone.
Violence against women is estimated to cost the Australian economy $22 billion a year.
KPMG. (2016). The cost of violence against women and their children in Australia. Canberra: Department of Social Services. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2wzVWxC
Statistics show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience high levels of violence and abuse. Family violence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impacts on the health and social outcomes of women and children.
Indigenous women are 32x more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than non-indigenous women.
Website: Hall and Partners Open Mind. (2015). The Line campaign. Summary of Research Findings. Melbourne: Our Watch. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2Cd1O5c
Statistics show that women who identify as LGBTQIA+ experience high levels of violence and abuse.
92% of women who identify as LGBTQIA+ have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime.
9 out of 10 women with a disability have been sexually harassed.
1 in 2 women with a disability have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in the last 5 years.
Homelessness and housing
Statistics demonstrate the clear link between domestic violence and homelessness. Ending men’s violence against women would see homelessness among women and their children decrease.
Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and their children.
AIHW. (2017). Specialist Homelessness Services 2016–17. Canberra: AIHW. Retrieved from: https://whiteribbon.org/2WDrP6u
Most women leaving a violent relationship move out of their home.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/1OgLEWS
These statistics show the role services, friends and family play in supporting women escaping domestic violence and supporting women experiencing abuse.
Australian police deal with domestic violence every two minutes.
ABC (2016). Australian police deal with domestic violence every two minutes. Available: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-21/domestic-violence/7341716b.
Women seeking support for partner violence are most likely to ask friends or family for help.
18% of people who experienced workplace sexual assault sought advice or support.
Research and statistics show the critical role of good workplace responses to domestic violence. Data on workplace harassment also shows the importance of employers creating safe workplaces for women.
Find out more about our Workplace Accreditation Program.
Over 60% of women experiencing violence from a current partner are working.
Violence against women in the workplace impacts on the organisational climate and employees’ sense of wellbeing.
VicHealth. (2012). Preventing violence against women in the workplace (An evidence review: full report). Melbourne: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/2MlC0sz
Almost 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
1 in 2 employees surveyed by White Ribbon consider it acceptable to tell a sexist joke in the workplace.
White Ribbon Australia. (2017). Workplace Accreditation Pilot Project Baseline Survey.
Only 20% of employees surveyed by White Ribbon would feel very confident knowing how to help a work colleague experiencing violence outside work.
White Ribbon Australia. (2017). Workplace Accreditation Pilot Project Baseline Survey.
94% of employees agree employers should take a leadership role in educating their workforce about respectful relationships between men and women.
Pennay, D. & Powell, A. (2012). The role of bystander knowledge, attitudes & behaviours in preventing violence against women. Melbourne: The Social Research Centre. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1osZjYt
1 in 2 working people in the last five years have been exposed to workplace harassment, as a victim or bystander.
40% of workplace sexual harassment incidents were witnessed by another person.
In 69% of cases, witnesses to workplace sexual harassment did not try to intervene.
Perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment are overwhelmingly male.
1 in 5 people who were sexually harassed at work said the behaviour was common in their workplace.
Technology and abuse
Statistics on image-based abuse in Australia reveal that many people have experienced this form of abuse. Sometimes known as revenge porn, research shows that image-based abuse has significant negative consequences for the mental health of victims and survivors.
Almost 1 in 3 women have been sexually harassed online or via some form of technology.
1 in 5 Australians have experienced image-based abuse.
1 in 3 young people aged 16-19 report an experience of image based abuse.
1 in 2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders report an experience of image-based-abuse.
1 in 2 Australians with a disability report an experience of image-based abuse.
Victims of image-based abuse experience high levels of psychological distress.
About our statistics
Violence against women is a complex and widespread issue, and whilst the above statistics give rich insights into women’s experiences and men’s behaviour as perpetrators of violence, it is important to note that the above statistics are not an exhaustive list. They are constantly updated as new data is uncovered.
These statistics should also be viewed as underestimates. Many women will never share their experience of violence, either with Police or with researchers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. So the statistics we get from these sources will always be an underestimate of the extent of the problem.
Other organisations working in the ‘violence against women’ space have also produced helpful resources about statistics. Of particular note are two by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS):
- Key statistics about violence against women
- How to accurately use key statistics about violence against women
Also useful is the original source of much of the above data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey Data 2016.