Department of Family and Community Services

Key findings

share on Facebook share on Twitter share on Yammershare by email

Data in this year’s Report shows that, in the 12 months to September 2012, females accounted for 69 percent of DV victims and males 31 percent.

For male DV victims, like female victims, the perpetrator is most likely to be another male. It is important to remember that domestic-related violence includes a broad range of people – those with whom the victim has or has had a domestic relationship (see further below). Some 51 percent of male victims are assaulted by another male only, compared to 32 percent of males who are assaulted by another female only.

79 percent of female victims are assaulted by males only and only 12 percent of female victims are assaulted by a female only.

Overall, 70 percent of DV incidents involved male offenders only, while 18 percent involved female offenders only.

Data for the 12 months to September 2012 also shows that boys aged 0 to 17 make up a higher percentage of male DV victims (18 percent) than girls aged 0 to 17 years do of female DV victims (11 percent).

DV homicide data shows that female homicide victims are more likely to be killed by someone with whom they are in a domestic relationship than male homicide victims. In NSW in the 12 months to September 2012, 27 out of 35 females were killed in a domestic context, compared to 11 out of 57 males. This is also the case with attempted murder, where 8 out of 9 attempted murders of females occurred in a domestic context, compared to 6 out of 38 attempted murders of males.

Our focus topic on the underreporting of DV assault highlights findings from a recent BOCSAR study with 300 female DV victims. BOCSAR found that the most common reasons for not reporting DV were fear of further violence from the perpetrator, feelings of shame or embarrassment, or a belief that the incident was too unimportant.

The great majority of sexual assault victims are women – 84 percent in the 12 months to September 2012. For both female and male victims, the highest proportion of alleged offenders were people they knew but with no familial relationship (39 percent for females and for males).

Interesting data on feelings of safety at home alone after dark and walking alone in the local area after dark confirm the perception that women feel less safe than men do on these indicators. Women living outside Sydney are more likely to feel safe than women in Sydney. The same is true for women born in Australia compared to women born in other countries who are not proficient in English. Women’s sense of safety on both indicators tends to increase as their household income increases.

Turning to the criminal justice system, we report that in NSW in 2011 females were granted Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) by NSW courts at twice the rate of males: 767 per 100,000 for women, compared to 358 per 100,000 for men. The regions in NSW with the highest rate of ADVOs granted per 100,000 in 2011 remain the same as in 2010: the Far West, North Western, and Northern Regions of NSW.

Data on female offenders shows that women make up a larger proportion of Aboriginal offenders (27 percent) than they do of non- Aboriginal offenders (18 percent). Looking at female assault offenders in the period September 2005 to September 2012, there was a rise in the proportion of females proceeded against by police, both for DV (from 13 to 17 percent) and non DV-related assault (from 21 to 26 percent). In both cases, the rise was highest amongst women offenders aged 50 and over.

We have also included data on women in prison in this year’s report. Women accounted for 7 percent of prisoners (668) in NSW correctional centres as at 30 June 2012. Female and male prisoner numbers have risen by an identical amount (10 percent) over the last ten years in NSW. This contrasts with the situation nationally, where the number of female prisoners grew by 48 percent over the last ten years, compared to 29 percent for men.

Sex-disaggregated data on sex discrimination and sexual harassment complaints are also presented in this year’s report, sourced from the Anti- Discrimination Board (ADB) and Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Women account for more than 90 percent of sex discrimination complainants, and for the great majority of sexual harassment complainants. Overall, sexual harassment accounted for the highest proportion of employment-related complaints to the AHRC, and the second highest proportion to the ADB (after disability discrimination).