Domestic violence on the decline

Release date: Wednesday, 20 June 2018 10.30am

Full report: Is domestic violence in NSW decreasing? pdf, 371Kb


New evidence released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) today indicates that domestic assault (DV) in NSW is on the decline.

BOCSAR analysed data on violence drawn from crime victim surveys carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics between 2008-09 and 2015-16. The data, collected over eight consecutive surveys, were grouped into four two year periods: 2008/10, 2010/2012, 2012/2014 and 2014/2016.

BOCSAR found no change over this period in victim willingness to report DV but the estimated rate of DV victimisation fell significantly, from 795 per 100,000 population in the period 2010/2012 to 575 per 100,000 in the period 2012/2014 (a decline of around 28%).

A further smaller decline occurred between 2012/2014 and 2014/2016 (down 9%) but this second change was not statistically significant. It is interesting to note that no similar decline occurred across Australia as a whole.

BOCSAR also examined changes in the NSW police recorded rate of domestic assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. Because this offence is so serious, it is much less susceptible to variations in victim willingness to report DV to police.

In this analysis BOCSAR found that the annual rate of domestic assault incidents occasioning grievous bodily harm fell from 5.8 per 100,000 in 2008/9 to 4.9 per 100,000 in 2015/16, a decline of 15.5 per cent.

Regional analysis showed that the rate of DV occasioning grievous bodily harm was highest in the Far West and Orana region of NSW. In this part of the State, the recorded rate of DV occasioning grievous bodily harm is more than 5 times the State rate.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 02 8346 1100
Copies of the report: