Girl looking through a broken window

Family and domestic violence has profound impacts on thousands of women and children living in Australia.

These experiences can shatter people’s confidence, limit their opportunities, cause lasting physical and psychological damage, and sometimes lead to death through murder or suicide.

While domestic and family violence affects both women and men, it is violence perpetrated by men against women and children that makes up the overwhelming majority of domestic and family violence in Australia. Violence against women is a human rights issue, and the failure to articulate it as such has long term social and economic consequences.

In Australia, it is estimated that

  • approximately one woman is killed by her current or former partner every week, often after a history of domestic and family violence.[1]
  • 17% of women have experienced violence from a current or former partner since the age of 18 (compared to 5.3% of men).[2]
  • family and domestic violence is present in 55% of physical abuses and 40% of sexual abuses against children.[3]


[1] See J Dearden & W Jones, Homicide in Australia: 2006 – 07 National Homicide Monitoring Program Annual Report, Australian Institute of Criminology (2008), p 2.

[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4906.0 - Personal Safety, Australia, 2012 (2013). At: (viewed 20 November 2013).

[3] K Richards, ‘Children’s exposure to domestic violence in Australia’ (2011) 419 Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, p 2