Department of Family and Community Services
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1.1 Recorded domestic violence-related assaults

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Domestic violence-related assaults recorded by NSW Police

Current position

In NSW in the 12 months to September 2012, women and girls made up 69 percent of victims of DV-related assaults. There were 20,709 female victims compared to 9,199 male victims.

Gender gap

  • In 2012 in NSW, females were more than twice as likely as males to experience domestic violence.
The direction of change over time

The numbers and proportion of female victims of domestic violence-related assault have remained stable over the period from October 2005 to September 2012.

Females made up 70 percent of DV victims annually between October 2005 and September 2008, and 69 percent of victims annually between October 2008 and September 2012.


The rates of DV-related assault per 100,000 of the population in NSW from October 2002 to September 2012 are shown in Figure 6.1.

Non-Aboriginal females

The rate of DV-related assault recorded by police has declined slightly amongst non-Aboriginal women victims in the decade ending September 2012, from 515 per 100,000 in 2002-03 to 483.

Aboriginal females

The rate of DV-related assault recorded by police has declined more markedly amongst Aboriginal women victims, from 3,738 to 3,110 per 100,000 in the decade ending September 2012.

Aboriginal males

Amongst Aboriginal male victims there was also a slight decline in the rate of assault recorded by police, from 946 to 849 per 100,000 in the decade ending September 2012.

Non-Aboriginal males

Amongst non-Aboriginal men there was a rise in the rate of DV assault from 206 per 100,000 to 229 per 100,000 in the decade ending September 2012. The rate has been declining steadily since 2008-09, however, when it was at its peak of 236 per 100,000.

These rates only reflect DV incidents recorded by police. While the rate of DV assault for Aboriginal females appears to be falling, this may in fact be due to lower levels of reporting to police. Similarly, the apparent rise in the DV assault rate for non-Aboriginal males may reflect an increased tendency to report DV to police, rather than a rise in actual incidents.

Age of victim and sex of offender

People in the 30 to 49 year age group are the most likely to experience DV assault: 43 percent of female victims and 38 percent of male victims were in this age group in the 12 months to September 2012.

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).

For male DV victims, 51 percent of offenders were male only, while 35 percent of offenders were female only. For female DV victims, 79 percent of offenders were male while 12 percent were female. Overall, 70 percent of DV incidents involved male offenders only, while 18 percent involved female offenders only.

A domestic violence offence, defined under the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007, encompasses acts of personal violence against someone with whom the perpetrator has, or has had, a domestic relationship. This includes spouses, people in de facto relationships, children, stepchildren, and other relatives. Domestic violence assaults reported here include physical violence and threats of violence, but not sexual offences or other forms of domestic violence (such as emotional or social abuse – preventing contact with friends and family or withholding money).

Year collected: October 2011 to September 2012 and previous years.
Data source: BOCSAR, unpublished (BOCSAR ref: kg12-10963, jh13-11085; nm1311179). More information is available at

Figure 6.1 DV-related assault victims by sex and Aboriginal status, NSW, 2002-12

Fig 6.1

Note: Data relates to 12-month periods beginning October 2002 and finishing September 2012. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal population estimates come from ABS, Projected Experimental Estimated Resident Australian Indigenous Population by RCMG region, age groups, 2001 – 2011.
Population: Victims of domestic violence-related assaults (all ages) recorded by NSW Police.
Source: BOCSAR, unpublished (BOCSAR ref: jh13-11085).