​Most domestic violence offenders do not specialise in domestic violence

Full report: General offending by domestic violence offenders, pdf 403Kb

Release Date: 10.30AM, Thursday 30 August, 2018

Domestic violence (DV) offenders commit almost 2.5 times as many non-DV offences as DV offences a new study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has found.

The study examined all 100,668 offenders convicted of a DV offence in a NSW court between 2008 and 2017.

Between them, these offenders had a total of 622,065 offences proved against them but only 236,324 (38%) of these offences involved DV.

The remainder included traffic offences (107,555), acts intended to cause injury (62,726), theft offences (56,593), drug offences (47,470), break and enter (14,366) and robbery (3,408).

Only about a third (35%) of the cohort examined by BOCSAR restricted themselves to DV offending. These people offended fairly infrequently, with the average being about 1.59 DV offences over the study period.

Offenders who did not specialise in DV tended to offend much more frequently than those who did specialise. Those whose DV offending accounted for less than 10 per cent of their total convictions, committed, on average, 21 offences between 2008 and 2017.

BOCSAR also compared DV assault offenders with non-DV assault offenders in terms of factors like criminal history, education, accommodation, companions, and antisocial attitudes/orientation. Very few significant differences were found.

Commenting on the findings, the Executive Director of BOCSAR, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that the study showed that measures taken to deter DV offenders may produce crime reduction benefits for other types of crime.

"The results suggest that domestic violence is in many cases just one manifestation of a general pattern of antisocial behaviour. We may need to look at treating the whole pattern, rather than just the domestic violence component of it," he said.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 8346-1100

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