This page lists key data on family and gender-based violence in Victoria, as well as national and international statistics.
Using data and statistics is an effective way to explain the prevalence and impact of family violence and violence against women. The statistics listed below include the source and the specifics to help you communicate this data accurately.
While data is valuable, it is also important to share the stories of people who have experienced family violence and demonstrate the real impact of this abuse. Read individual experiences of family violence in the stories from survivors section.
In 2018–19, 35 women were killed by an intimate partner (all but one a male intimate partner).
‘Family incidents’ recorded by Victoria Police increased by 6.7 per cent from 82,651 in 2018–19 to 88,214 in 2019–20 (an increase of 5 per cent in the rate of incidents per 100,000 people). A family incident is defined as an incident attended by Victoria Police where a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Report (also known as an L17 form) was completed.
In 2019–20, Victoria Police attended 88,214 family violence incidents. A ‘family incident’ is defined as an incident attended by Victoria Police where a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Report (also known as an L17 form) was completed.
In Australia, an estimated 3 per cent of women (275,000) experienced violence by a current partner whereas 15 per cent of women (1.4 million) experienced violence by a previous partner. In Australia, an estimated 1.7 per cent of men (150,300) experienced violence by a current partner whereas approximately 4.4 per cent of men (397,300) experienced violence by a previous partner.
The survey collected information from men and women aged 18 years and over about violence they experienced since the age of 15. The term ‘partner’ is used to describe a person the respondent currently lives with, or has lived with at some point, in a married or de facto relationship. Violence includes physical and sexual assault and threats.
A child or children were present at 29.8 per cent or 26,284 family violence incidents occurring in Victoria between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020. A ‘family incident’ is an incident attended by Victoria Police where a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Report (also known as an L17 form) was completed.
In Australia, approximately one in four women (23 per cent or 2.2 million) experienced violence by an intimate partner, compared to one in 13 men (7.8 per cent or 703,700).
The 2016 Personal Safety Survey collected information about men’s and women’s experience of violence by a partner, including both physical and sexual violence experienced since the age of 15. ‘Violence’ is defined as any incident involving the occurrence, attempt or threat of either physical or sexual assault. The term ‘partner’ is used to describe a person the respondent currently lives with, or has lived with at some point, in a married or de facto relationship.
In Australia, First Nations women accounted for more than 35 per cent of all hospitalisations for family violence, and most specified a spouse or domestic partner as the perpetrator (62 per cent) in 2016–17 (AIHW analysis of National Hospital Morbidity Database). It is important to note that most violence against Aboriginal women is perpetrated by non-Aboriginal people. In 2011, 85 per cent of Aboriginal women in Melbourne had a non-Aboriginal partner (Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, 2013).
In 2016, an estimated 5.9 per cent (172,800) of women with a disability or long-term health condition experienced violence in the 12 months prior to the survey, compared to 4.3 per cent (274,400) of those with no disability or long-term health condition.
The proportion of men who experienced violence in the 12 months prior to the survey was similar for men with a disability or long-term health condition (5.6 per cent) and men without a disability or long-term health condition (6.2 per cent).
This research from the ABS found that in 2016, 1.8 per cent of persons living with disability or a long-term health condition experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a cohabiting partner (102,300 including 2.5 per cent of women and 1.1 per cent of men) and 5.6 per cent experienced emotional abuse by a partner (322,300 including 6.3 per cent of women and 4.7 per cent of men).
The term ‘partner’ describes a person the respondent lives with, or lived with at some point, in a married or de facto relationship.
Social discrimination and systemic and structural barriers can make it very difficult for people to get the help they need. Migrant and refugee women encounter increased barriers to support, partly due to visa-based eligibility for services, language barriers and limited knowledge of the service system.
There is no comprehensive data on the prevalence of elder abuse in Australia, however it’s estimated that up to 14 per cent of older people may be experiencing abuse. In 2016–17, eight per cent of family members affected in family violence incidents in Victoria were aged 60 years or over (Crime Statistics Agency).
Family and domestic violence is the main reason women and children leave their homes in Australia (FaHCSIA 2008). Those who have experienced family and domestic violence made up 41 per cent of Specialist Homelessness Services clients in 2019–20.
Where to find family violence data in Australia
Published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this survey collects statistics for family and domestic violence, sexual violence, physical assault, partner emotional abuse, child abuse, sexual harassment, stalking and safety.
National data on the health impacts of family, domestic and sexual violence (released 2020).
The Family Violence Data Portal is managed by the Crime Statistics Agency and includes data, dashboards and infographics.