​Intimate partner homicides in NSW: 2005 to 2014

Full report: Intimate partner homicides in NSW: 2005 to 2014 (pdf 550Kb)

Release date: 10.30am Wednesday, 16 December, 2015

A study of intimate partner homicides over the last ten years has found that the majority of intimate partner1 homicide victims do not come to the attention of the police prior to the homicide.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research examined all 169 intimate partner homicides (129 females and 40 males) which occurred in NSW between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2014.

Less than one-third of homicide victims had prior contact with the police in relation to violence by the alleged offender. Only one-quarter of the victims had taken an AVO out against the homicide offender prior to the homicide event.

Although prior contact with police in relation to the person who ultimately committed the homicide was uncommon, in 48 per cent of intimate partner homicides the victim had some prior contact with police in relation to violence. In many of these cases the alleged offender was not the person who ultimately killed them.

The majority (86.4%) of homicides involved a single offender. In homicides where multiple offenders were involved, the other offenders were usually members of the offender's family or a new intimate partner of the offender.

Stabbing was the most common act causing death (42% of victims). In the majority of these cases (92%) the weapon was a knife, usually a kitchen knife. The next most common cause of death (22.5%) was being bashed or beaten.

In 41 per cent (41.4%) of intimate partner homicides the violent act causing death was impulsive and occurred in the heat of the moment during an argument between the victim and the offender. Only a third (33.7%) involved a level of premeditation or planning on the behalf of the offender.

In 33 per cent of the homicides, either the offender or the victim (or both) had consumed alcohol in the hours leading up to the homicide event

Approximately 13 per cent of offenders were recorded as being Indigenous. This is disproportionate to the population of Indigenous people in NSW (approximately 2.5%).

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn (02) 8346-1100

Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au

1 Intimate partners include a spouse/partner, an ex-spouse/ex-partner or a boy/girlfriend (including ex-boy/girlfriend).