A central role of the ABS, as Australia's national statistical agency, is to provide information to support decisions made by governments, community groups and private organisations. In doing so, the ABS not only publishes data that describe the wellbeing of individuals and of society as a whole, but also develops tools such as conceptual and statistical frameworks and information development plans to support the further integration and development of data in particular areas of social statistics.
In 2005 the ABS released its National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics (NIDP) (cat. no. 4520.0), developed in collaboration with key stakeholders in criminal justice. One of the agreed Priorities of the NIDP was to develop an evidence base that would assist the criminal justice system to respond more effectively to family and domestic violence (FDV), and also inform prevention and intervention strategies to decrease its incidence and prevalence.
An NIDP Steering Committee, set-up to progress the Priorities of the Plan, recommended the establishment of a Family and Domestic Violence Working Group. The Working Group endorsed the development of a conceptual framework.
Given the definitional issues and the multi-disciplinary nature of FDV, a conceptual framework was seen as a tool to enable the consideration of information needs and indicators by placing agreed parameters around elements of the field of family and domestic violence. The Conceptual Framework aims to provide a basic common language to use when organising data items, indicators and information needs, to assist discussion of data requirements and existing resources.
Future statistical development work in this area will stem from this initial view of family and domestic violence concepts. As this is an evolving area of statistical development, suggestions and comments on this Paper are welcomed. Comments should be directed to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.