Is domestic violence in NSW decreasing?
Aim: To examine changes in domestic and family violence victimisation in NSW.
Method: This is a descriptive study drawing upon data from crime victimisation surveys undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and recorded crime data from the NSW Police Force.
Results: Estimates from crime victim surveys provide evidence of a fall in the victimisation rate for physical domestic and family violence between 2010-12 to 2012-14 in NSW but no change from 2012-14 to 2014-16. There was no evidence of a change over this period in the proportion of victims reporting domestic and family violence to police. There is also evidence from police recorded crime of a statistically significant drop in the annual rate of domestic assault incidents occasioning grievous bodily harm from 5.8 per 100,000 in 2008/9 to 4.9 per 100,000 in 2015/16. Regional analysis showed that the rate of domestic violence occasioning grievous bodily harm was highest in the Far West and Orana region of NSW.
Conclusion: Both crime victim survey data and recorded crime data suggest that the victimisation rate for domestic and family violence has declined in NSW over the time period examined.