Domestic violence in Australia: a quick guide to the issues

26 Mar 2015

Overview: This paper summarises a recent Parliamentary Library publication on domestic violence. It provides an overview of the prevalence, risk factors and cost of domestic violence in Australia.

This paper uses the term domestic violence to refer to ‘acts of violence that occur between people who have, or have had, an intimate relationship’ which is the definition used in the Australian Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022. It may include physical, sexual, financial, emotional or psychological abuse. The ‘central element of domestic violence is an ongoing pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling a partner through fear’. Family violence is a broader term which may involve a variety of kinship and marital arrangements. It is often used in the context of, though not restricted to, violence experienced in Indigenous communities.

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