Social disadvantage and emotional abuse link to repeat intimate partner violence

Full report: Assessing the risk of repeat intimate partner assault, (pdf 520Kb)

Release date: 10.30AM, Monday 11 February, 2019

A new study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has found that the odds of being a repeat victim of intimate partner violence (IPV) within 12 months are 10 times higher in the most disadvantaged 20 per cent of the Australian population than in the least disadvantaged 20 per cent.

Controlling behaviour was found to be a particularly strong predictor of repeat IPV, with the odds of repeat IPV being 7.59 times higher for those whose partner in the last 12 months stopped or tried to stop them from contacting family, friends or community than for those whose did not report this behaviour.

Higher risks of repeat IPV were also found among those who live outside major cities, who have a disability, whose highest level of education is year 10 or below and who report that in the past 12 months their partner has stopped or tried to stop them from contacting family, friends or community.

To conduct the research, BOCSAR examined levels of repeat IPV victimisation within 12 months among 336 respondents to the ABS Personal Safety Survey (PSS) conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The PSS is a representative sample survey of all adult Australians. The survey provides a unique insight into the prevalence and predictors of violence and threatened violence in Australia.

The 336 respondents studied by BOCSAR had all experienced an incident of IPV by a current or previous partner within the 12 months prior to the survey being undertaken (between the 6th of November 2016 and the 3rd of June 2017).

Commenting on the findings, the Executive Director of BOCSAR, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that the study was undertaken to improve the ability of police and others identify those at high risk of repeat IPV.

“The Government has introduced a number of measures designed to reduce the risk of repeat IPV. To make these measures work effectively we need to be able to reliably identify those at high risk of further violence,” he said.

“Having evidence on reliable predictors of repeat IPV is the first step toward this goal.”

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