Communities and Justice

Family, domestic and sexual violence research and data

The following statistical data and studies provide information and insight into the impacts of family, domestic and sexual violence. 

Data links

The following data links point to key local, national and international data sources that give information on issues impacting on women. These include, equity and access to economic resources, education, housing, health and the workforce, as well as community attitudes towards violence against women and domestic and family violence.

ABS Personal Safety Survey

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey collects information from Australian men and women aged 18 years and over about the nature and extent of violence experienced since the age of 15:

The Census provides a snapshot of Australia's people and their housing – information is used to determine services and facilities you and your community need:

ABS Census of Population and Housing

ANROWS National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey

The National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey collects information on how people understand violence against women, their attitudes towards it, what influences their attitudes, and if there has been a change over time. It also gauges attitudes to gender equality and people’s preparedness to intervene when witnessing violence or its precursors:

BOCSAR Crime Statistics

This page contains a collection of significant crime, court and custody datasets compiled by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Most are updated annually or quarterly:

Violence prevention studies

The NSW Government has funded three major violence prevention studies. The reports review current literature and interventions, and provide recommendations to guide the development of new and enhanced violence prevention initiatives. Abstracts of the reports have been provided by the researchers.

Study 1 abstract: Men and boys violence prevention

Family and Community Services Department commissioned a team of researchers from the University of Western Sydney to review current approaches across Australia that involve men and boys in the prevention of violence against women.

The study assessed the effectiveness of current approaches, strategies and projects, the characteristics of good practice and the areas that need to be developed to effectively engage men and boys in primary prevention.

The findings indicate that while there is significant interest among stakeholders to work with men and boys, the field is at a very early stage of development. The most promising areas of practice use a multi-systemic approach. These include engaging men and boys via a community strengthening and development model where programs are one part of organisational or workforce development. Two programs are identified that use these approaches and recognise the importance of: a gendered analysis of violence against women, close relationships to organisations with expertise in violence against women, and a focus on work specifically with men or boys.

Read the executive summary (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Read the full report (PDF, 2.5 MB)

Study 2 abstract: Groups and communities at-risk of domestic and family violence

Family and Community Services Department commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies to review domestic and family violence (DFV) prevention and early intervention activities aimed at several groups identified as being at greater risk of experiencing DFV and/or having difficulty accessing support services.

These groups include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women,
  • women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD),
  • people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ),
  • young women and women in regional, rural and remote (non-urban) communities.

This report engages with current policy contexts and approaches to the prevention of DFV and assesses the available evidence about the effectiveness of prevention practices.

This research has found there is extensive knowledge within the DFV service sector, and a strong commitment by those working in the sector to preventing DFV in the community. Services are working hard to deliver high-quality prevention and early intervention activities that meet the needs of their communities. There are several areas, however, where difficulties were identified. These include: a lack of rigorous evidence about effective prevention practices; structural issues such as a lack of a coherent policy framework in which to situate practice; and a lack of funding and ad hoc funding mechanisms.

Read the executive summary (PDF, 113.6 KB)
Read the full report (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Study 3 abstract: Children affected by domestic and family violence

Family and Community Services Department commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies to review domestic and family violence (DFV) prevention, early intervention and response strategies aimed at children aged 0–8 years.

Research evidence is increasingly demonstrating the detrimental impact of DFV on young children. There is a need for further funding and support of post-crisis, therapeutic services for children that are child-centred and address the mother–child bond.

This research found there is a limited number of prevention and early intervention activities that focus on this age group, and there are significant gaps in the evidence regarding the effectiveness of prevention and early intervention activities aimed at the 0–8 age group.

There is an emerging evidence base and strong rationale for supporting school-based primary prevention programs for younger children that address the underlying causes of DFV. Building this evidence base is crucial if we are to address the impact of DFV on young children and prevent them being subject to it. To do this, a coherent policy framework is needed that enables service providers, policy-makers and researchers to work collaboratively and effectively.

Read the executive summary (PDF, 111.2 KB)
Read the full report (PDF, 1.0 MB)

Last updated:

21 Nov 2022