Department of Family and Community Services

1.2 Self-reported domestic violence

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Self-reported incidents of domestic violence by women attending NSW Health services

Current position

In NSW in 2011, just over 6 percent of women who were screened under the Domestic Violence Routine Screening Program identified themselves as having experienced domestic violence in the previous 12 months. 

The direction of change over the time

The proportion of eligible women screened who identified having experienced domestic violence in the previous 12 months has remained relatively stable since the inception of the program in 2003, at between 5 and 7 percent.

Discussion

In 2011, 20 percent of women who disclosed domestic violence accepted an offer of assistance from a health worker, and 43 percent felt unsafe to go home. See Table 6.1. It is notable that, while the percentage of women who felt unsafe to go home more than doubled between 2004 and 2011 (from 19 to 43 percent), the percentage of women who accepted an offer of assistance from a health worker was lower in 2011 than in any other year.

The NSW Health Domestic Violence Routine Screening Program is implemented in antenatal services and early childhood services, and for women aged 16 and over who attend mental health and alcohol and other drug programs. Women who attend these services are asked standardised questions about any incidence of violence from a partner or ex-partner in the last year.

Year collected: 2011 and previous years.
Data source: NSW Ministry of Health (2012) Domestic Violence Routine Screening Program: Snapshot Report 9, November 2011, p.7. More information is available at www.health.nsw.gov.au

Table 6.1 Women screened under the NSW Health DV screening program, 2003-11

Year

Number of eligible women screened

Screened women who experienced DV

%

Women unsafe to go home

%

Women who accepted assistance

%

2003

4,036

7.0

n/a

40.6

2004

7,774

7.3

18.7

71.0

2005

10,090

7.3

29.5

22.6

2006

11,581

6.0

32.9

25.9

2007

11,702

5.6

55.7

31.4

2008

12,536

5.9

52.2

24.0

2009

14,471

5.8

55.8

32.7

2010

14,301

5.3

44.2

26.7

2011

15,078

6.1

43.0

19.7

Note: Screening for DV is implemented in NSW Health antenatal services, early childhood services, and for women aged 16 and over who attend mental health and alcohol and other drug programs.
Population: Women screened under the NSW Health Domestic Violence Routine Screening Program.
Source: NSW Ministry of Health (2012) Domestic Violence Routine Screening Program: Snapshot Report 9, November 2011.