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Domestic and family violence

Every week an Australian woman is killed by a current or former partner, and one in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. Stemming this epidemic of violence in Australian families must be a high priority for governments, service providers and communities.

In recent years, federal and state governments have all taken significant steps to address domestic and family violence problems within their jurisdictions. The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 led the way to coordinated action across jurisdictions, with a strong emphasis on prevention activities to reduce the incidence of violence over time.

However, as awareness of the extent of the problem has increased, so has demand for support services as women and children leave unsafe situations to establish new lives. There is also strong demand for services to help affected children stop the intergenerational cycle of violence, and to help men who use violence to change.

In 2015, PwC estimated that the combined health, administration and social welfare costs of violence against women are $21.7 billion a year. Without effective prevention activities, costs were estimated to reach $323.4 billion over a thirty year period from 2014-15 to 2044-45.

We understand more about the high prevalence and costs of family violence than ever before. Australia now needs to prioritise investment that will effectively prevent it and tackle the harms it causes to individuals, families, communities and our economy.

Read more about domestic and family violence and policy solutions in our position statement.