Domestic and family violence involves abusive and violent behaviour towards a partner, former partner or family member. It is much broader than physical violence, and include actions that control, humiliate or scare the other person or people in the household.

In Australia, domestic and family violence is disturbingly common and it’s one of the main factors that trigger homelessness among vulnerable women, children and men . Although 98% of Australians recognise that violence against women and their children is a crime , the rates of domestic and family violence remain unacceptably high.

National statistic can help us understand the gravity of the situation, but alarmingly, many victims of domestic and family violence will never report their experience.

Domestic and family violence at the hands of a partner is more common than we think

1. Approximately one in four women (23% or 2.2 million) experienced violence by an intimate partner, compared to one in thirteen men (7.8% or 703,700).1

Domestic and family violence also affects children

2. Of the adults who experienced current partner violence 86.8% indicated that their child saw or heard violence in the last 12 months.2

Many Australians have also witnessed violence as a child

3. 13% of women (1.2 million) and 10% men (896,700) witnessed violence towards their mother by a partner before the age of 15.3

Domestic and family violence is interrelated to homelessness

4. In 2019–20, 119,200 SHS clients had experienced family and domestic violence, equating to 41% of all clients.4

Children exposed to domestic and family violence are also at risk of homelessness

5. In 2019-20, 36% of people who experienced family and domestic violence were younger than 18 years.5

What you can do to help

  • If your safety or the safety of someone you know is at risk, please call 000.
  • For 24/7 domestic violence counselling call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line is available on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
  • Donate a one-off or ongoing gift to help vulnerable children and families find a safe home.

Learn more about our domestic and family violence services.

 

Know someone affected by domestic and family violence?

If you are experiencing abuse or violence it is not your fault. There are support services that can help you. If your life is in danger, call 000. For 24/7 domestic violence counselling call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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1Department of Social Services: National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children (2019)
2AIHW (2020): National framework for protecting Australia's children indicators: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/child-protection/nfpac/contents/national-framework-indicators/3-5-domestic-violence
3Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017), Personal safety, Australia, 2016, cat. no. 4906.0, Canberra: ABS, accessed at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs
4Specialist homelessness services annual report, Clients who have experienced family and domestic violence - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (aihw.gov.au)
5Specialist homelessness services annual report, Clients who have experienced family and domestic violence - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (aihw.gov.au)



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