Until now, the Personal Safety Survey has been the primary data on violence in Australia. It is a detailed data set, but it relies on people’s memories and perceptions of the violence they have experienced and what they are willing or able to share with people conducting the survey. These responses provide a good indication of how Australians experience violence, but it is not verifiable fact.
A recent data report released in May by the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network is not based on statistics. It is a detailed examination of 152 intimate partner murders between 2010 and 2014 where there was credible information showing a history of violence prior to the murder.
Information was collected from the Coroner’s Courts, police investigations, court proceedings and inquest findings. The results prove that domestic violence, in its most dangerous form, is overwhelmingly committed by men against women.
More than one-third of the murders committed by men occurred after the relationship had ended and nearly a quarter of the women killed had Domestic Violence Orders against their killer at the time of the murder. At least 107 children lost a parent to murder.
This is the first report from the Death Review Network. As its work continues it will expand the data to include intimate-partner murders where there was no previous history of violence as well as murders between other types of family relationships.
Experts believe this will expand understanding of domestic violence homicides and how gender impacts lives lost to family violence.