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Posted in Media releases

Every fourth woman in Australia a victim of intimate partner violence

Thursday, 22nd October 2015

An estimated one in four women in Australia has experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

This is one of many new findings from a report released by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) that analyses data collected in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2012 Personal Safety Survey (PSS).

The PSS is the most comprehensive quantitative study of interpersonal violence in Australia.

In its summary findings of the 2012 PSS, the ABS published that an estimated 1 in 6 women in Australia had experienced violence by a partner within a married or de facto relationship.

A more inclusive definition of “intimate partner”, incorporating boyfriend/girlfriend and date relationships, is used in the ANROWS report. It reveals that 1 in 4 women has experienced intimate partner violence.

“This definition is a more accurate representation of the size of the problem because it captures the full range of intimate partner relationships,” said ANROWS CEO Heather Nancarrow.

“Most of the data in the report is being published for the first time. It builds on previously published ABS data by providing more detail on who experiences violence and who perpetrates violence; what happens in incidents of violence and what happens afterwards. It also analyses data on how women are repeatedly impacted by violence.”

 Other key findings from the report include:

  • Gender is the most substantive variable across patterns of victimisation and perpetration.
  • Two-thirds of women who experienced sexual violence had also experienced a separate incident of physical violence.
  • Of women who were sexually assaulted by a man, one in three reported they were physically injured. 31,600 women experienced fractures or broken bones/teeth as a result of the assault.
  • Two in five women experienced violence while temporarily separated from their most recently violent former partner. A third of these women experienced an increase in violence while temporarily separated.
  • Seven out of ten women left property or assets behind when they moved away after their final separation from their most recently violent former partner.

The report will be a useful resource for policy-makers, practitioners, advocates and the broader community to access detailed information on violence against women.

The Hon Pru Goward MP, NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, will launch the report at an event in Sydney.


ANROWS is a national research body that produces evidence to guide policy and practice aimed at addressing violence against women and their children. Its $3.5 million research program spans 20 projects (including this report) that look at “what works for whom” in addressing domestic, family and sexual violence. ANROWS has also been commissioned by the Commonwealth Government to deliver research on perpetrator interventions.

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visitwww.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000”

 ANROWS PSS report media release.pdf

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