Reducing domestic violence

Reducing domestic violence

Published 14th July, 2017

Reduce the proportion of domestic violence perpetrators reoffending by 25 per cent by 2019

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, outstripping any other risks for women in this age group. One woman is killed every week, on average, by domestic violence in Australia.

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30 people died as a result of domestic violence in NSW in 2016.

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. 

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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?

The rate of reoffending has been rising since 2013 (baseline), but the overall rate of domestic violence assault is stable. 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.

In 2015, the percentage of domestic violence offenders who reoffended within 12 months increased to 15.8 per cent (i.e. 2358 reoffenders).

If we are successful, for those who offend in 2019, we will have reduced the number of reoffenders by 484 (a 25 per cent reduction from the 2013 baseline).

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.

Initiatives increase support for victims, change the behaviour of offenders and target locations with significant rates of reoffending.

Some examples of these initiatives include:

  • improving the quality of Community Corrections supervision and increasing access to behaviour change programs such as the EQUIPS Domestic Abuse Program to treat and stop abusive behaviour
  • strengthening police capacity to identify and target serious repeat offenders as part of the statewide roll-out of NSW Police Force Suspect Target Management Plans (STMP) for recurring domestic violence offenders
  • expanding the use of the video recorded victim statements, known as Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief (DVEC) to speed up the court process
  • 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 2017, the NSW Police Force launched the Northern Region Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Team. The team has been formed as a proactive response to known domestic violence offenders. 

Investment in reducing reoffending

In October 2015, we announced a $300 million package which doubled the investment in specialist domestic violence initiatives. Of this, $66 million directly targets perpetrators.  The package underpins the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for reform, which was launched in August 2016.

We have also invested an additional $237 million in reducing domestic violence by:

  • expanding participation in programs for prisoners and parolees in the community, introduce one-on-one case management and intervention for priority domestic violence offenders after they are charged but before they are sentenced, and improve training for staff
  • establishing 10 high-intensity program units for rehabilitation programs to prisoners serving short sentences of six months or less. Four of these units will target domestic violence prisoners
  • targeting higher risk offenders earlier and at all points in their contact with the justice system will have the greatest impact on reoffending.

It's Not Your Fault campaign

Case study

Suspect Target Management Plans

Domestic violence

The NSW Police Force Suspect Target Management Plans (STMP) for domestic violence perpetrators was rolled out across NSW in 2016 to help reduce reoffending.  STMP involves a standardised, coordinated approach to the targeting and management of offenders. Suspect targeting identifies high-risk domestic violence offenders and places them on notice.  

The STMP is aimed at strengthening police capacity to identify and target serious repeat domestic violence offenders. Police officers are trained in investigative techniques to monitor offenders who have been profiled and to proactively prevent them from reoffending.

The STMP is aimed at increasing detection and apprehension rates of domestic violence offenders before they reoffend, which in turn will increase protections for victims and children. 

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 14th July, 2017