Reducing domestic violence

Reducing domestic violence

Published 14th October, 2016

Reduce the proportion of domestic violence perpetrators re-offending within 12 months by five per cent.

Why is this important?

Domestic violence has no place in our society

Domestic violence is a leading 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.

22 people died as a result of domestic violence in NSW in 12 months to June 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 address it as quickly as possible. When we focus on reoffending, through addressing violent behaviour and making perpetrators more accountable, we can better protect victims of domestic violence both now and into the future.

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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 their first court appearance is finalised.

How is the government tracking?

Unfortunately the rate of reported domestic violence assault in NSW has been increasing over the last five years. Although this is partly due to increasing awareness about domestic violence, it’s unacceptable and urgent action is needed to address this crime.

In 2015, the percentage of domestic violence offenders who reoffended within 12 months increased to 15.8 per cent (i.e. 2,358 reoffenders).

Percentage of domestic violence offenders re-offending within 12 months

What is the government doing?

Our program of work

Our focus is on reducing domestic violence reoffending by holding perpetrators to account and ensuring they receive appropriate and timely interventions to change their behaviour.

The government’s initiatives range from changing community attitudes to prevent domestic violence through to tackling immediate reoffending by increasing support for victims, changing the behaviour of offenders and targeting locations with significant rates of reoffending.

Some examples of these initiatives include:

  1. Improving the quality of supervision and access to treatment by doing more to treat and stop abusive behaviour through improving the quality of Community Corrections supervision and increased access to behaviour change programs such as the EQUIPS Domestic Abuse Program.
  2. Strengthening police capacity to identify and target serious repeat offenders as part of the statewide rollout of NSW Police Force Suspect Target Management Plans (STMP) for recurring domestic violence offenders. STMP involves a standardised, coordinated approach to the targeting and management of offenders.
  3. Expanded use of video recorded victim statements, known as Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief (DVEC) to increase successful prosecutions.
  4. Increased monitoring and better access to support and behaviour change programs for domestic violence perpetrators earlier in the court process.

NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for reform 2016-2021

In October 2015, the NSW Government announced a $60 million package to target perpetrators and support women, men and children whose lives have been impacted by domestic and family violence (DFV). The package underpins the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for reform, which was launched in August 2016.

  • New Police Domestic Violence High-Risk Offender Teams to target perpetrators and reduce the rate of reoffending.
  • Improved behaviour-change interventions for higher risk domestic violence offenders.
  • GPS tracking for domestic violence offenders at bail, sentence and parole.
  • Early interventions trials with domestic violence perpetrators using behavioural insight techniques.

Investment in reducing reoffending

The NSW Government has invested an additional $237 million in reducing domestic violence.

  • Expand 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.
  • Establish 10 high-intensity program units for rehabilitation programs to prisoners serving short sentences of six months or less. These prisoners do not currently participate in programs to address their behaviour. 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

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 October, 2016