What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic and Family Violence is any behaviour which occurs in an intimate or family relationship and is violent, threatening, coercive or controlling or causes a victim to live in fear.   

Domestic Violence is widespread throughout the Australian Population, occurring in all sections of our community, across all cultures and in all types of intimate relationships. An intimate relationship refers to people who are, or have been, in an intimate partnership i.e. married or engaged, separated, divorced, de facto (whether same sex or a different sex), couples promised to each other under cultural or religous tradition or dating. 

A family relationship has a definition and includes people who are related to one another by blood, marriage or de-facto partnerships, adoption and family-like relationships including foster care. It also includes the full range of kinship ties in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, and extended family relationships in CALD communities.

Women and children are overwhelmingly those who are the victims of Domestic Violence. An Australian national survey in 2012, found 87% of partner assault victims are women, many of whom have children in their care or were pregnant at some time during the relationship.

Domestic Violence is a gendered crime and has been described as ‘becoming one of the greatest social epidemic of our times”. According to a World Health Organisation study, at least one in every three women globally has been  abused in some way – most often by someone she knows, like her husband or another male family member.  The NSW Parliament Social Issues Committee has stated that data on domestic violence, in New South Wales, nationally and internationally, clearly shows that men comprise the majority of offenders and women the majority of victims.

Domestic Violence is a CrimeReferences:

PDF-icon  Barret, I., Braaf., R., 2013, Gender and Intimate Partner Violence: Fast Facts 9, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse

PDF-icon New South Wales. Parliament, Legislative Council, Standing Committee on Social Issues, 2012, Domestic violence trends and issues in NSW Inquiry Report, p.31