LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS: DEFINING THE DATA CHALLENGE FOR FAMILY, DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Aims of this publication
Defining the data challenge for family, domestic and sexual violence is a tool for policy and data experts, as well as researchers and service providers with an interest in family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia. It presents statistical and conceptual information relating to family, domestic and sexual violence, describing the main concepts, sources and priorities in this field. It also incorporates strategies for information development to address priority information needs relating to family, domestic and sexual violence.
This is a supporting document for a long term project to improve the evidence base, outlined in the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2010-2022 (the National Plan) and aims to improve the information available to support research, policy development, operational decision-making, education and community awareness activities into the future.
Defining the data challenge outlines and describes the social phenomena of family, domestic and sexual violence and aims to translate it into a statistically measurable context by:
- explaining the definitional and collection challenges associated with family, domestic and sexual violence data;
- identifying and organising key statistically measurable elements of family, domestic and sexual violence; and
- highlighting the related research and policy information needs applicable to family, domestic and sexual violence.
It is expected that this publication will contribute to policy development and service delivery planning by facilitating a common language that accurately and reliably measures statistics in this field. The multi-dimensional nature of family, domestic and sexual violence, and the development of legal and service responses to the problem over time, have led to a variety of definitions and a lack of comprehensive quality data to support effective evidence-based policy, services and responses for victims and perpetrators.
The short to medium-term aim is to assist in the determination of the key information priorities and understand the current data environment. This involves undertaking environmental and data gap analysis exercises to more effectively understand where the data needs are, and determine a course of action to address these needs.
A long-term aim of the National Plan is to create nationally consistent data definitions and collection methods to provide a fit-for-purpose, rich and flexible evidence base to meet current and future needs across the field. These needs may relate to topics ranging from primary prevention, understanding prevalence and incidence, to responses and service provision.
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