Five Australians a Month are Killed By Domestic Violence

In Australia, approximately one woman a week and one man a month are killed by domestic violence.

And one in six women and one in sixteen men are known to have experienced violence from a current or former partner.

Violence against women is now recognised to be a serious and widespread problem in Australia, with enormous individual and community impacts and social costs.

However this significant social problem is also ultimately preventable.

But to prevent violence against women we first need to understand it.

Get informed with these key statistics, facts and definitions.


The following basic statistics help demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women:

  • On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.1
  • 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.2
  • 1 in 5 Australian women has experienced sexual violence.3
  • 1 in 6 Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by current or former partner.4
  • 1 in 4 Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.5
  • Australian women are nearly three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.6
  • Australian women are almost four times more likely than men to be hospitalised after being assaulted by their spouse or partner.7
  • Women are more than twice as likely as men to have experienced fear or anxiety due to violence from a former partner.8
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of mothers who had children in their care when they experienced violence from their previous partner said their children had seen or heard the violence.9
  • Almost one in 10 women (9.4%) have experienced violence by a stranger since the age of 15.10
  • Young women (18 – 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.11
  • There is growing evidence that women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence.12
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women report experiencing violence in the previous.12 months at 3.1 times the rate of non-Indigenous women.13
  • In 2014–15, Indigenous women were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised due to family violence as non-Indigenous women.14

Family and domestic violence is a widespread problem that affects Australians of all ages, socioeconomic and demographic groups.

A problem that could easily affect one of your employees.

If you ever have to deal with a person experiencing family or domestic violence, you will discover that this an especially sensitive issue to tackle.

To start, do your employees know that they can confide in you if they are in danger?

Also, do you know yourself how to handle a situation where an employee is facing family or domestic violence?

Most employers will want to do the right thing and reach out and offer support, and let their staff know that they’re not alone.

But you also have legal obligations.

Do you know what these are?

When family or domestic violence affects one of your employees, it’s not just a ‘personal’ or ‘private’ problem they have, but a legal responsibility that you as an employer have to handle.

Be absolutely certain you are equipped to manage such situations professionally, sensitively and legally.

Work Health and Safety Hand book (c) Portner Press 2018

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