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5 Oct, 2013

Australia releases revised directory of family and domestic violence statistics


Canberra, 03 Oct 2013 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released the updated Directory of Family and Domestic Violence Statistics, aimed at improving the evidence base for family, domestic and sexual violence. The 2013 directory provides a detailed analysis of national and state and territory based data collections, encompassing both survey and administrative systems data.

Brad Petry from the ABS said the publication supports endeavours by Australian agencies to readily identify the scope and data gaps for the statistical reporting of family and domestic violence.

“The updated directory assists in the identification of data collections which have the potential to inform policy making and program evaluation. It supports current initiatives to establish a clear direction in the recording and reporting of family and domestic Violence,” Mr Petry said.

The directory is part of a broader project being conducted by the ABS in partnership with the National Centre for Excellence to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children as part of the Commonwealth’s national plan.

A copy of this publication is available for free download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).


This Directory contains a set of metadata about each selected source of Australian and State and Territory Government Family and Domestic Violence data. Metadata is information about a data collection, and does not include data itself. Metadata is useful as it can provide readers with:

  • information about what data already exists and where data gaps are, both within and across data sources;
  • an understanding of the range of Family and Domestic Violence data captured by each data source;
  • a summary of the collection methodology and consequent limitations of the data for each data source to enable readers to make an assessment of whether the data source may be suitable for their needs;
  • contact details for accessing published data and, where applicable, further customised data; and
  • information about the methodology, data items and context for existing collections which can be used as a model for the development of a new data collection. Contacting source agencies can provide useful insights about the data collection development process for similar types of data sources.

Some Family and Domestic Violence Government data sources have been omitted for reasons, such as:

  • the information collected is not available for statistical use;
  • data cannot be readily extracted in an aggregated, de-identified format; and
  • data are not considered by the agency to be sufficiently robust or complete for statistical purposes.


Family and Domestic Violence is a community-wide problem that requires involvement from all levels of government across the health, welfare, family and community services and crime and justice sectors. The multi-disciplinary nature of Family and Domestic Violence service provision and information collection/research has meant that much of the data relevant to this field has remained invisible, under-utilised and distributed across sectors, jurisdictions and levels of government.

The Family and Domestic Violence Directory, 2013 (Directory) aims to improve awareness, and ultimately the use of Family and Domestic Violence-related data, collected by or on behalf of Australian governments. The Directory provides researchers, policy analysts and practitioners with a single place to identify information about Australian and State and Territory Government sources of publicly available statistical information related to Family and Domestic Violence.
The information provided can be used by readers to:

  • better understand the purpose, collection methods and outputs available from each data source;
  • inform an assessment of whether data from a particular source are likely to meet their information needs; and if so,
  • locate published data sources or contact data custodians to request data, where available, via the contact details and hyperlinks included.

Readers are advised to confirm information about the data availability and methodology directly with the data source contacts listed in the Directory.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) acknowledges the support of the National Centre for Excellence to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (NCE) which under the auspices of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children provided funding support for the 2013 Directory.

The ABS would also like to acknowledge the collaboration and support of the agencies and organisations that contributed to the update of this Directory.


Since the release of the 2011 Directory there has been substantial progress in family and domestic violence information. The Directory of Family and Domestic Violence 2011, (cat. no. 4553.0) entries reflect the Framework elements described in the publication Conceptual Framework for Family and Domestic Violence, 2009 (cat. no. 4529.0). The 2013 updated Directory is based on the Defining the Data Challenge for Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence, 2013 (cat. no. 4529.0) that is a combination of the previous framework and The Sexual Assault Information Development Framework, 2003 (cat. no. 4518.0). The listing of available sexual violence data remains out of scope of this Directory.

This latest Directory provides a summary of the six element Framework consisting of context, risk, incident/experience, response, impact/outcome, and programs, research and evaluation is used to assess the conceptual breadth of the data collection is presented. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the presence of identified data units in each collection grouped within the four information units; context, person, incident/event and transaction assisting the reader to view the data source within the context of all potential reporting items.


The collection of data sources listed in the Directory reflects the respective responsibilities of the Australian federal and state and territory governments, as does the arrangement by jurisdiction of the Directory entries.

The Australian Government takes the lead in developing national approaches to Family and Domestic Violence policy, with most of the associated services delivered through funding arrangements with the states and territories. These entities have primary responsibility for crime prevention programs, law enforcement, prosecution, corrective services, behavioural change programs, public health, disability and medical services, child protection and other specific Family and Domestic Violence services and are required to report on the associated federally funded programs.

Such reporting ensures that there are national level administrative data sources, complemented by the reporting of Australian Government agencies such as the Family Court, and national surveys undertaken by or on behalf of the Australian Government.

Separate reporting initiatives by individual state and territory governments also provide additional Family and Domestic Violence data collections.

Further information about Family and Domestic Violence support and services delivered by each jurisdiction, including the Australian Government is outlined in the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.