STATISTICAL MEASUREMENT: PREVALENCE AND INCIDENCE
Defining the data challenge refers to ‘prevalence’ and ‘incidence’ as measures of family, domestic and sexual violence. Both terms are useful to measure the levels of victimisation in society in a range of different ways, depending on the definition/classification in use, and the context in which the measure is used.
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Prevalence estimates measure the extent of victimisation experienced within the community; defined as the number of people in the relevant population who have experienced family, domestic or sexual violence at least once within a specified reference period.
Incidence measures the extent of offending behaviour within a community; defined as the number of incidents of family, domestic or sexual violence that have occurred in the relevant population within a specified reference period. Incidence measures will be larger than prevalence measures because victims may experience more than one incident.