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Family violence is any violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour that occurs in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships (Victorian Government 2022). 

Family violence takes many forms and occurs across all social groups. While physical violence may be the most visible form, other forms of violence are also harmful. These include, but are not limited to, sexual violence, psychological and emotional abuse and coercive control.

Women and children are most commonly the victims of family violence. Some communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability, people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and people from migrant and refugee backgrounds may experience more severe forms or higher rates of family violence due to inequality and discrimination (Respect Victoria 2023).

This page presents an analysis of data published by the Crime Statistics Agency. Two things should be noted when interpreting the information on this page:

  1. Family violence often goes unreported. A 2016 survey of more than 21,000 people across Australia indicated that 18% of women and less than 3% of men subjected to violence by a current partner had ever contacted police about it (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017). Findings like this suggest that police data is likely to substantially underestimate the incidence of family violence. Find out more at the Australian Bureau of Statistics personal safety statistics, 2017.
  2. Police data on family violence is indicative of victims’ confidence to report family violence, improvements in police practices in identifying and recording family violence incidents, as well as the actual incidence of family violence. The Royal Commission into Family Violence states ‘Increases in recorded cases might reflect higher reporting rates or improved skill or effort in identifying family violence.’ Find out more in the Royal Commission into Family Violence report, Vol I, p52.

Number and nature of incidents

Police recorded 1,020 family violence incidents in Boroondara during 2021–22. The recorded family violence incident rate is increasing in Boroondara (Figure 1). Most recorded family violence incidents in Boroondara occur within a dwelling or the surrounding grounds or outbuildings (Figure 2) and most involve verbal abuse (Figure 3). Property damage and economic abuse are less frequently recorded. 

Donut chart which shows that 93% of family violence incidents recorded in Boroondara during 2021-22 occurred at a residential location, meaning a dwelling or its surrounding grounds or outbuildings.

Figure 2: The vast majority of family violence incidents recorded in Boroondara during 2021–22 occurred at a residential location (in a dwelling or the surrounding grounds or outbuildings). Data source: Crime Statistics Agency Family Violence Dashboard

Who is affected 

Family violence is most often thought of as occurring between intimate partners or immediate relations living in the same home. Family violence can also be perpetrated by someone in the same household who is in a ‘family-like relationship’ (such as a carer), or within relationships where there is cultural recognition by the community of a ‘family-like’ relationship (such as in Aboriginal communities) (Safe Steps 2023).

Violence between partners accounted for half the recorded incidents in Boroondara in 2021–22 (Figure 4).

Anybody can be affected by family violence, including children (Figure 5). Most affected people are female (Figure 6) and the most likely to be affected are aged 35 to 44 (Figure 7).

donut chart which shows that 71% of those affected by family violence in Boroondara in 2022 were female.

Figure 6: Almost three quarters of those affected by family violence in Boroondara during 2022 were female. Data source: Crime Statistics Agency 2023 

Support services and more information

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
  • To find out who to contact if you are concerned about abuse or violence in your relationship, see our Family violence support page
  • For other local support services, see our Counselling and mental health services page.
  • To find out more about the prevalence and impacts of family violence in Victoria and Australia, visit the Safe and Equal website. Safe and Equal is the peak body for specialist family violence services that provide support to victim survivors in Victoria. 

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