Author Stephanie Ramsey
Published November 2015
Report Type Bureau Brief No. 111
Subject Domestic violence; Murder
Keywords Intimate partner homicide, domestic violence, murder, homicide, family violence

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To analyse trends and characteristics in intimate partner homicides in NSW over the period January 2005 to December 2014.


This study considers all murder and manslaughter events recorded by the NSW Police Force involving intimate partners, that is, a spouse/partner, an ex-spouse/ex-partner or a boy/girlfriend (including ex-boy/girlfriend). The data were extracted from police narratives and also the recorded crime database managed by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.


Over the 10 year period to 2014 there were 169 victims of intimate partner homicide in NSW, (129 females and 40 males). The number of intimate partner homicides fluctuates from year to year (ranging from a low of 10 homicides in 2010 to a high of 22 homicides in 2013); however the trend over the past 10 years is stable. Almost 80 per cent of intimate partner homicide victims were killed by a current partner and 20 per cent by an ex-partner. Stabbing was the most common act causing death, with knives used in over one-third of intimate partner homicides. Approximately half of intimate partner victims had been identified by police as a victim in a previous violent incident and almost two-thirds of these violent offences involved the same person of interest as the homicide. In addition, almost one-quarter of intimate partner victims had taken an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) out against the homicide offender.


Overall, less than one-third of intimate partner homicide victims had any prior contact with the police as a victim of a prior violent offence or AVO where the eventual homicide offender was the person of interest.

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