Author Katrina Grech and Melissa Burgess
Published May 2011
Report Type Bureau Brief No. 61
Subject Assault; Domestic violence; Victims
Keywords Domestic violence, assault, domestic assault, crime victimisation

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To describe current trends in domestic violence and factors associated with reporting offences to police in NSW.


Descriptive analyses were conducted on all incidents of domestic assault recorded by NSW Police between 2001 and 2010. Factors associated with reporting of offences to police were examined using the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Crime Victimisation Survey 2008-2009.


Over the last 10 years the trend in domestic assault has been stable across NSW and has fallen slightly in regional areas. The majority of incidents of domestic assaults occurred on residential premises between 6pm and 9pm, Saturdays and Sundays. Alcohol remains an associated factor in many of these incidents. Victims were predominantly female and offenders predominantly male. The overrepresentation of Indigenous Australians as both victims and offenders of domestic assault has not changed over the last decade. Less than half of all respondents who had been the victim of a domestic assault in the previous 12 months reported the incident to the police. Older victims, those who were married and victims of assaults that did not involve weapons or serious injury were less likely to report to police.


While the incidence of domestic assault has been stable across the last 10 years, it continues to be problematic at certain times, in certain places and particularly in some Indigenous communities. Efforts to increase reporting of assault may be best targeted at the subgroups identified in this report who are currently less inclined to report assaults to police.

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