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4533.0 - Directory of Family and Domestic Violence Statistics, 2011  
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Contents >> Evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms Legislation and Courts Project, Australia

EVALUATION OF THE 2006 FAMILY LAW REFORMS LEGISLATION AND COURTS PROJECT, AUSTRALIA


DASHBOARD METADATA
Geographic CoverageFrequencyData Availability
National
New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
Western Australia
South Australia
Tasmania
ACT
Northern Territory
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 Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)

Contact: Deputy Director (Research)

Address: Level 20, South Tower, 485 La Trobe St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000

Telephone: 03 9214 7888

Facsimile: 03 9214 7839

Email: http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/contact.php

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

Publications

http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fle/

Purpose

The primary purpose of this data collection was to assess the extent to which the change in family law legislation affected court orders relating to parental responsibility and children’s time between parents after parental separation. Within this context, information was collected as part of this study to determine how matters involving concerns about family violence and child abuse are dealt with by the courts.

Description

This component obtained and analysed information contained in court files to inform the evaluation’s analysis of broader trends in the use of court services in the context of the 2006 reforms.

Collection Type

Survey

Family and Domestic Violence related content (data items collected)

Data Item
Respondent
(Victim1)
Secondary victim
Respondent
(Offender1)
Demographics
Age
Sex
Indigenous Status
Disability
Country of Birth
Language spoken
Employment

Labour force status;
Hours worked

Labour force status;
Hours worked
Education
Income
Geography
Other

Occupation;
Main activity when not in the labour force

Occupation;
Main activity when not in the labour force
Personal data item
Services used / referrals to services
counselling
legal
financial
housing

crisis
other
Health factors
pregnancy
alcohol use / substance use
mental illness
2






2



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


3








Other personal data items

Reasons for unequal or sole parental responsibility (abuse; family violence; mental health issues; substance abuse; entrenched conflict between parents; other; by consent);
Applicant an respondent's evidence and judgement as to their credibility are recorded where violence or abuse is listed as a factual issue. 4

Special needs (intellectual, physical, psychological/ psychiatric, emotional, cultural)
1 Respondent may or may not have experienced FDV. Victim or offender status is implied by analysis of the care arrangements information only.
2 Post reform files only - recorded where the court file contained a claim relating to the impact of substance abuse on capacity to parent.
3 Post reform files only - information relating to State Protection Orders (including Violence Orders), police and medical services if recorded on the court file.
4 Post reform files only.

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

The collection instruments can be viewed at: http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fle/appendixc.pdf

Definition of Family and Domestic Violence

Family and Domestic Violence is defined operationally in this collection using information contained in court files of whether violence or abuse is listed as a factual issue of a reason for unequal parenting responsibilities.

Legislation and screening tools used pre-and post-reform form the basis on which FDV is defined for consideration by courts. Post-reform, Family Violence is defined by the Family Law Act, 1975 as:
“conduct, whether actual or threatened, by a person towards, or towards the
property of, a member of the person's family that causes that or any other member of the person's family reasonably to fear for, or reasonably to be apprehensive about, his or her personal well-being or safety.

A person reasonably fears for, or reasonably is apprehensive about, his or her personal well-being or safety in particular circumstances if a reasonable person in those circumstances would fear for, or be apprehensive about, his or her personal well-being or safety. “

The Screening and Assessment Guidelines refer to the Partnerships Against Domestic Violence (1997) definition, which is:
“ …an abuse of power perpetrated mainly (but not only) by men against women both in a relationship and after separation. It occurs when one partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate or control the other. Domestic violence takes a number of forms. The most commonly acknowledged forms are physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional and social abuse and economic deprivation.” (AGD 2006, p. 27)

Pre-reform allegations were not collected.

Aspects of FDV captured by the data are:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological /emotional abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Child abuse and neglect

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

Information was collected from a sample of 1,724 court files involving parenting disputes lodged in the Family Court of Australia (FCoA), Federal Magistrates Court (FMC) and the Family Court of Western Australia (FCoWA). Information was collected from a sample of 739 court files lodged and finalised prior to July 2006 (the pre-reform sample) and 985 court files lodged and finalised after July 2006 (the post-reform sample).

Scope / target population

Separating couples with parenting disputes lodged in the FCoA, FMC and the FCoWA before and after the introduction of the 2006 Family Law Reforms.

Coverage

Post-reform files were sampled from the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane registries of the FCoA and FMC along with court files from the FCoWA. Pre-reform files were sampled from the Melbourne registry of the FCoA and FMC along with a sample of files from the FCoWA.

Geographic coverage and disaggregation

Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Western Australia

Data available for:
Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Western Australia - specific court registries

Frequency / Timing

Once only

Collection history

Collection commenced: November 2008

Breaks in series: no

Other details: n/a

Data availability / Dissemination

Data are reported in the report Evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms. No further data are available.

Other data sources held by this agency

Australian Temperament Project (ATP)
Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)
Longitudinal Study of Separated Families (LSSF)
Survey of Family Relationship Service Clients, 2009

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