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Reducing domestic violence

Reducing domestic violence reoffending

Published 10th September, 2018

Reduce the proportion of domestic violence perpetrators reoffending by 25 per cent by 2021 (based on the 2019 cohort of perpetrators)

Why is this important to the people of NSW?

Domestic violence has no place in our society

Domestic violence is a contributor of ill health and premature death for women aged between 15 and 45 years. One woman is killed every week, on average, by domestic violence in Australia.

domestic violence 26 people

26 people died as a result of domestic violence in NSW in 2017.

Why focus on reoffending?

Reoffending is when a person charged with a domestic violence assault is then charged with a second domestic violence assault within 12 months. It typically happens soon after the initial abuse, so it’s critical we respond to it as quickly as possible.

By focusing on reoffending we are helping to reduce domestic violence in NSW, achieving positive outcomes for victims and their families.

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Approximately 15 per cent of people charged with a domestic violence assault reoffend within 12 months. Of those who reoffend, almost 50 per cent do so before the court process has been finalised.

How are we tracking?

Of the offenders that were charged with a domestic violence assault in 2013, 14.2 per cent or 1974 reoffended within 12 months. 

The rate of reoffending has been rising since 2013, but the overall rate of domestic violence assault is falling. This reflects that NSW Police is taking action at an increasing rate, and focusing intensely on high risk offenders. However, any level of reoffending is unacceptable.

Our goal is to reduce the proportion of 2019 offenders that reoffend within 12 months to 10.7 per cent. This is a reduction of 484 reoffenders, a 25 per cent reduction from the 2013 baseline. The outcomes for 2019 offenders will be reported in 2021.

What are we doing?

Our program of work

Our focus is on reducing domestic violence reoffending by holding perpetrators to account and ensuring they receive targeted, evidence-based and timely interventions to change their behaviour.

Some examples of these initiatives include:

  • enhancing the supervision of offenders managed by Community Corrections by having the right offender receiving the right intervention through the use of the Practice Guide for Intervention (PGI)
  • increasing offender access to Corrective Services behaviour change programs, such as the EQUIPS Domestic Abuse Program, to reduce the risk of future abusive behaviour
  • strengthening sentencing laws so that more domestic violence offenders will be referred to Community Corrections for assessment and then supervised at a level appropriate to their risk
  • strengthening police capacity to identify and target serious repeat offenders, including through the statewide implementation of NSW Police Force Suspect Target Management Plans (STMP) and the roll-out of specialist Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Teams
  • intervening earlier with new behaviour change programs for people on bail or remand, and new strategies to ensure people comply with Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders.

The past 12 months have seen some promising changes in supporting victims and proactively targeting offenders of domestic violence. For example, in January 2018, the NSW Police Force launched the Western Region Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Team. There are now four teams currently operating in NSW. The team has been formed as a proactive response to known domestic violence offenders.

Investment in reducing reoffending

In 2018-19, the NSW Government is investing an additional $44.1 million for continued support to reduce domestic and family violence reoffending and re-victimisation.  This takes NSW’s total investment in specialist domestic violence initiatives to more than $390 million over four years, providing greater protection for the most vulnerable members of our community. 

It's Not Your Fault campaign

Case study

Practice Guide for Intervention (PGI) Supervision

Practice Guide for Intervention

The NSW Government has introduced an enhanced model of supervision that is being used to manage domestic violence offenders in the community.

A Practice Guide for Intervention (PGI) has been developed and implemented to assist Community Corrections Officers. It helps them keep supervision structured and focused on changing the offenders behaviour.

The PGI provides officers with guidance on how to work with offenders to tackle antisocial attitudes and criminal behaviour in their one-to-one interactions and interviews. It provides a structure for supervision through the use of simple exercises, allowing staff to deliver targeted interventions in a timely manner to medium to high risk offenders.

Now rolled-out statewide, the PGI aims to deter future reoffending, protecting both victims and their families.

What can you do?

Community attitudes need to change

Domestic violence is seriously under-reported. According to a 2013 study by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research only 52 per cent of all victims report domestic violence to police.

The whole community has a part to play in stopping domestic violence by changing the way we think and talk about it. We can change cultural norms by what we do and say every day, as well as by educating our kids to view it as unacceptable to prevent future domestic violence.

Do you need help?

More information

For more information, visit the NSW Government's Domestic Violence website.

Published 10th September, 2018
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