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Domestic Violence Statistics

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.

Prevalence

These statistics on domestic violence, emotional abuse and murder demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women in Australia.

 

1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4906.0

1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4906.0

1 in 2 women has experienced sexual harassment during her lifetime.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4906.0

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://bit.ly/2ozctxh.

Almost 40% of women continued to experience violence from their partner while temporarily separated.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4906.0

1 in 6 women have experienced stalking since the age of 15.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4906.0

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: https://bit.ly/2K1sQvJ

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.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4906.0

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. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2CaUWFj

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://bit.ly/2Cd1O5c

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://bit.ly/2Oy1U9e

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

Economic impact

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

Indigenous Australia

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

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://bit.ly/2PJ3MMH.

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

Seeking help

These statistics show the role friends and family play in supporting women escaping domestic violence and supporting women experiencing abuse.

 

Women seeking support for partner violence are most likely to ask friends or family for help.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2wLF47b

Workplace attitudes

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.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/1OgLEWS

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: https://bit.ly/2Cie6cx

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

Image-based 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.

Find out more about image-based abuse.

 

1 in 5 Australians have experienced image-based abuse.

Henry, N., Powell, A. & Flynn, A. (2017). Not just ‘revenge pornography’: Australia’s experiences of image-based abuse. Melbourne: RMIT University. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2NP4TK7

1 in 3 young people aged 16-19 report an experience of image based abuse.

Henry, N., Powell, A. & Flynn, A. (2017). Not just ‘revenge pornography’: Australia’s experiences of image-based abuse. Melbourne: RMIT University. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2NP4TK7

1 in 2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders report an experience of image-based-abuse.

Henry, N., Powell, A. & Flynn, A. (2017). Not just ‘revenge pornography’: Australia’s experiences of image-based abuse. Melbourne: RMIT University. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2NP4TK7

1 in 2 Australians with a disability report an experience of image-based abuse.

Henry, N., Powell, A. & Flynn, A. (2017). Not just ‘revenge pornography’: Australia’s experiences of image-based abuse. Melbourne: RMIT University. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2NP4TK7

Victims of image-based abuse experience high levels of psychological distress.

Henry, N., Powell, A. & Flynn, A. (2017). Not just ‘revenge pornography’: Australia’s experiences of image-based abuse. Melbourne: RMIT University. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2NP4TK7

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):

Also useful is the original source of much of the above data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey Data 2016.

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