Domestic and Family Violence trends in NSW, July 2010 to June 2022: update

Link to Report Summary: 

Release date: Tuesday 31 October 2023

A new study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) using victim survey data rather than police recorded incidents, found no change in the rate of victims of domestic and family violence (DFV) assaults in NSW over the past 12 years, and a significant decline at a national level. 

While DFV assaults recorded by the NSW Police Force have risen over the last five, ten, and 15 years (as previously reported by BOCSAR), recorded crime statistics do not always reliably indicate DFV prevalence or trends due to under-reporting of domestic violence; changes in reporting rates over time; changes in police enforcement around domestic violence; and the broadening of community understanding of what constitutes domestic violence.  

A more trustworthy source is the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Crime Victimisation Australia (CVS) survey, which gathers self-reported victimisation information from 6,000 NSW residents each year. This research considered pooled data from 12 annual surveys from 2010/11 to 2021/22, to provide a more rigorous way of measuring changes in DFV over time.   

Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Jackie Fitzgerald, says “Measuring trends in domestic and family violence over several years is complex, and while many domestic and family violence complaints are reported to police, there are a significant number that are not reported. Using data collected directly from victims who may, or may-not have reported to police, gives us a much more reliable and accurate way of measuring domestic and family violence trends in NSW and indeed nationally, over extended periods of time.”  

Key results:

  • In NSW, the rate of DFV related physical assault remained stable from July 2010-June 2013 to July 2019-June 2022. 
  • Nationally, the DFV victimisation rate fell significantly from the earliest to the most recent time period (from 761.1 victims per 100,000 population in July 2010-June 2013 to 632.7 victims per 100,000 population in July 2019-June 2022). 
  • The rate of DFV victimisation in NSW is not significantly different to the rates for Australia.   

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