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4533.0 - Directory of Family and Domestic Violence Statistics, 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/11/2011  First Issue
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Contents >> Women's Safety Survey (WSS)

WOMEN'S SAFETY SURVEY, AUSTRALIA (WSS)


DASHBOARD METADATA
Geographic CoverageFrequencyData Availability
National
New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
Western Australia
South Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory
ACT
Regional
LGA
ASGC Remoteness
Other
More than annual
Annual
2-4 yearly
Less than 5 yearly
Once only
Ad hoc
Detailed publication / report publicly available
Data cubes / spreadsheets publicly available
Agency annual report
Customised data - free upon request1
Customised data - charged consultancy1
Not published - may be available on request1
Not publicly available
[1] May be subject to release conditions

DETAILED METADATA

Contact

Data custodian: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Contact: National Information and Referral Service

Address: Locked Bag 10, Belconnen, ACT, 2616

Telephone: 1300 135 070

Facsimile: 1300 135 211

Email: client.services@abs.gov.au

Internet: http://www.abs.gov.au

Publications

Women’s Safety Survey, Australia, 1996 (cat. no. 4128.0)
ABS Cat. No. 4128.0 ISBN 0 642 23201 6
Microdata: Women's Safety Survey, Basic CURF, Australia, 1996 (cat. no. 4128.0.15.001)

Purpose

Information was collected about women’s safety at home and in the community. In particular, information focused on women’s experience of physical and sexual violence by male and female perpetrators, the nature of violence, the actions women took after experiencing violence and the effect on their lives. The survey also collected information on incidents of stalking and harassment.

Description

The survey was funded by the Office of the Status of Women (OSW) and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services, both of which have responsibility for developing and implementing policies relating to women.

Collection Type

Survey

Family and Domestic Violence related content (data items collected)

Data Item
Respondent
(Victim1)
Secondary victim
Offender
Demographics
Age
Sex
Indigenous Status
2
Disability
Country of Birth
Language spoken
Employment

Duration of unemployment; Labour force status; Full-time/part-time status;
Hours worked
Education

Age left school; Highest qualification
Income

Couple;
Main source;
All sources
Geography
Other

Index of socio-economic disadvantage;
Marital status;
Country of birth of parents;
Whether woman or her parents were born in non-English speaking country
Personal data items
Services used / referrals to services
counselling
legal
financial
housing

crisis
other







Health factors
pregnancy
alcohol use / substance use
mental illness



FDV-related perceptions
satisfaction with police response
seriousness/ regarded as criminal
whether problem in neighbourhood
feelings of safety / fear




Prior history of victimisation / offending

More than one incident of abuse
Known outcomes
application for violence order
violence order issued
offender charged
offender went to court
offender found guilty
offender sentence type
child protection involvement
time off work / economic costs
medical treatment received / type
changed routine
other












Whether wanted to or did separate after incident;
Reason didn't separate
Other personal data items

Sought help from friends/family;
Current partner violent towards others;
Violence first occurred/increased during separation;
Children witnessed violence

Witnessed/heard violence
1 Respondent may or may not have experienced FDV.
2 The WSS cannot provide reliable information about the levels of violence experienced by Indigenous women because the number of Indigenous Women in the sample was small.


Data Item
Incident
Location
home
workplace
school/place of education/institution
public place
other





Relationship between parties
married/de facto spouse
current / former partner/boyfriend/girlfriend
parent-child
sibling
other member of household
other relatives
relationships of personal or financial dependency







Weapon use
type of weapon

Alcohol involved
Substance use involved

Physical injury sustained
type of injury

Reported to police
reasons for not reporting

Other

Told others about incident


Definition of Family and Domestic Violence

The Women’s Safety Survey defines violence as any incident involving the occurrence, attempt or threat of either physical or sexual assault.

Physical assault involves the use of physical force with the intent to harm or frighten a woman. An attempt or threat to inflict physical harm is included only if a woman believes it is able and likely to be carried out. Sexual assault includes acts of a sexual nature carried out against a woman's will through the use of physical force, intimidation or coercion, or any attempts to do this. Unwanted sexual touching is excluded from sexual assault. Sexual threat involves the threat of an act of a sexual nature which the woman believes is able and likely to be carried out.

Aspects of FDV captured in the data are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Psychological abuse
    • Property damage
    • Harassment and stalking

Relationship to Conceptual Framework for Family and Domestic Violence (Cat. No. 4529.0)

Conceptual Framework Element / Sub-element
Amount of Information Available
None
Some
Detailed
Context
Environmental Factors
Individual pyscho-social factors
Risk
Community prevalence
Community incidence
Understandings and acknowledgments of risk and safety
Incident
Responses
Informal responses
Formal system responses
Impacts/Outcomes
Programs, Research & Evaluation

Collection methodology

A representative sample of women in private dwellings was selected. Both urban and rural areas were included in the sample. Due to the need for specific training and support for interviewers enumerating this survey, the size of the sample selected in rural and remote areas was reduced, while ensuring that the sample was fully representative of the Australian population.

Information was obtained from selected respondents by personal or telephone interview, or a combination of both. Interviewers received additional sensitivity and awareness training to increase their understanding and ability to deal with issues relating to violence against women. A specific requirement of this survey was that interviews had to be conducted alone.

The survey was not compulsory, and women were advised they were not under obligation to respond. Approximately 6,300 women completed the survey, representing a response rate of 78%.

Scope / target population

Women aged 18 years and over who were usual residents of randomly selected households.

Coverage

Women aged 18 and over who were a usual resident of the selected household (private dwelling).

Women excluded from the survey include:
      • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and surveys
      • overseas residents in Australia
      • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependents) stationed in Australia and
      • residents of special dwelling such as hospitals, retirements villages, refuges, etc
In general, the survey does not support reliable estimates for the States and Territories. Nor does it allow for detailed disaggregation of the data.

Geographic coverage and disaggregation

National

Data available for:
Australia
Limited data are available at State/Territory level

Frequency / Timing

Once only

Collection history

Collection commenced: February - April 1996

Breaks in series: no

Other details: The Personal Safety Survey, first run in 2005 and due to be next run in 2012, builds on the WSS and provides more recent data.

Data availability / Dissemination

The main publication and state/territory data cubes for selected data items can be downloaded free of charge from the ABS website.

Microdata are available in the form of a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF). Information about how to apply for microdata is available on the ABS website. Additional tailored tables, providing more detail, or data items not included in the publication are available on request as a 'user pays' service.

Other data sources held by this agency

Crime Victimisation
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
Personal Safety Survey

Has this data source changed?
Contact the ABS to report updates or corrections to the information above.

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