RE: Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Report

As much as DV Vic wishes a report like this was never necessary, we congratulate the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network on their report released today.  Thanks to the Network’s extraordinary efforts and national collaboration we now have the most robust and reliable data on intimate partner homicide that has ever been released in Australia.

DV Vic’s work reflects the evidence base that shows the major cause of violence against women is gender inequality. Murder is the most extreme form of family violence and this report provides irrefutable evidence of the gendered nature of family violence in Australia.

We hope the findings in this report encourage state and federal governments to commit to broadening the scope of the data the Network is able to collect so that all types of family violence can be understood in the same depth.

Victoria is fortunate to have had the Royal Commission in to Family Violence, which provided recommendations and a clear path towards being able to reduce the number of lives lost to family violence. We know the underlying causes are systemic and structural. Changing those underlying causes will take time and unwavering commitment from governments, police, the justice system and the multiple service providers.

In order to prevent almost two women a week being murdered across the country we need all Australian governments to actively commit to working to better identify, prevent and respond to family violence, particularly at the point at which women end relationships.

Details from the report:

The report’s findings show that between 2010 and 2014 there were 152 intimate partner homicides in Australia which followed an identifiable history of domestic violence.

  • Just under 80% involved a man killing his current or former female partner
    • The vast majority of these were women were killed by men who had a history of being the primary family violence abuser prior to the homicide.
  • Approximately 20% involved a female killing her current or former male partner
    • 60 percent of these women were the primary domestic violence victim in the relationship.
  • 36 percent of men who killed a female partner killed a former partner
    • almost half of those homicides of former female partners occurs within 3 months of the relationship ending.
  • 24% of men who killed their current or former female partner were named as respondents in Domestic Violence Orders protecting the female homicide victim at the time of her death.
  • Of the females that killed a male intimate partner, most killed a male they were currently in a relationship with (82.1%).
  • Of the 152 homicides examined, there were at least 107 children under the age of 18 who survived the intimate partner homicide involving one or both of their parents.