4529.0.00.002 - Bridging the data gaps for family, domestic and sexual violence, 2013  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/11/2013  First Issue
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Research questions and definitions used in data collection are influenced by the context of inquiry and theoretical approaches. The ABS coordinated a priority setting exercise that aimed to align over 100 research and policy questions identified in Defining the data challenge to the National Plan Indicators (see Appendix 1 for methodology). The outcome of this process was the identification of nine refined priority research questions, as follows:

  • What is the prevalence and incidence of family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia?
  • Who is involved in family, domestic or sexual violence events?
  • Why do/don’t those who experience violence disclose events of family, domestic and sexual violence events?
  • What services and support are needed for those who experience family, domestic and sexual violence?
  • Which formal interventions reduce the occurrence of family, domestic and sexual violence events?
  • What are the impacts and outcomes of family, domestic and sexual violence?
  • What are the impacts and outcomes of engagement with services, programs and support?
  • What are community attitudes to family, domestic and sexual violence?
  • What are the impacts of public policy approaches and educational campaigns targeting family, domestic or sexual violence?
From a data perspective there are a number of specific data items that are required to be collected for each of the priority questions (see Transforming data into statistical information for more information).

In order to develop a flexible evidence base, data collection should include information that describes key characteristics of people who have experienced family, domestic and sexual violence. Groups that are of particular interest (perpetrators, victims etc.) are not explicitly identified in the high priority questions. However, from a data perspective, information should be collected in ways that allow data to be disaggregated to identify these groups. Data collection techniques should attempt to address the unique challenges these groups present due to individual circumstances and living arrangements (e.g. in care, institutions or remote areas).

Defining the data challenge outlined the specific population groups of interest as:
  • children;
  • young women;
  • pregnant women and women with children;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities;
  • people with disabilities;
  • people living in rural and remote areas;
  • older people; and
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.
In addition, data should be collected in ways that allow for information to be compared over time. Societal views and attitudes about family, domestic and sexual violence are subject to gradual change over time. As attitudes change, policy and legislation develop that reflect these shifts. Information is required to measure these movements. The ability to assess change over time is also important for measuring the progress of the National Plan and it is expected that this will occur as a consequence of creating a strong evidence base. Consistent collection of data that informs these questions will assist in establishing a baseline measure and also facilitate comparisons over time.

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