Reducing domestic violence reoffending

Reduce the number of domestic violence reoffenders by 25% by 2023.

Woman sitting on a bed

Why is this important?

One woman is killed every week, on average, by domestic violence in Australia1.  

Under this Priority, a reoffender is defined as a person charged with a domestic violence assault, who is then charged with a second domestic violence assault within 12 months. People who reoffend once are likely to continue to reoffend, so it’s critical we respond to it as quickly as possible. 

By focusing on reoffenders, we are helping to reduce domestic and family violence (DFV) in NSW and achieving positive outcomes for victims and their families. Achieving a 25% reduction in domestic violence reoffenders will mean approximately 450 fewer reoffenders by 2023. 

How are we tracking?

The degree of challenge involved with reducing domestic violence reoffending is very high; a comparable reduction of 25% has yet to be reported in any other jurisdiction. 

A reduction in reoffending was observed for two years following the baseline of 1814 reoffenders in 2015. However, recent data has shown an increase to 1886 offenders.


Download the Reducing domestic violence reoffending data information sheet (PDF 215.64KB)

What are we doing? 

Our focus is on holding domestic violence offenders to account and changing their offending behaviour through a range of targeted initiatives.  
These initiatives include:  

  • enhancing the supervision of offenders managed by Community Corrections to ensure offenders are receiving the right intervention
  • increasing access to behaviour change programs in both the custodial and community settings to reduce the risk of future abusive behaviour
  • having strengthened 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 
  • introducing new strategies to ensure people comply with Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders. 

Find out more detailed information on the program of initiatives.

The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have created additional challenges for domestic and family violence service providers and concern that these issues may also exacerbate risk factors that lead to domestic and family violence.

Between 2019-20 and 2020-21, the NSW Government provided $12.8 million to ensure that sexual, domestic and family violence services have the resources to adapt service delivery and support victim-survivors and their children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded initiatives included immediate relief to specialist DFV services to respond to the increased demand and complexity of cases; funding boosts to NSW DFV telephone support lines; and a range of grants targeted to infrastructure and service delivery. 

In addition, the 21-22 NSW Budget provides an additional $140 million from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments over 21-22 and 22-23 for DFV services. 

What can you do?  

Domestic violence is under-reported. If you or someone you know is at risk or experiencing DFV, help is available. Free call the NSW Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

The whole community has a part to play in putting an end to domestic violence. By changing the way we think and talk about violence, gender, power and relationships, and by educating our children in these areas, we can prevent domestic abuse from occurring. This will ensure respectful attitudes and behaviour, and build social structures that support equality and safety. 

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019. Cat. no: FDV 3. Canberra:AIHW, p50.

Reducing domestic violence reoffending is a Premier's Priority
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