4906.0.55.001 - Microdata: Personal Safety, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/05/2014   
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APPENDIX 1 - DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS FOR USING EACH LEVEL OF THE FILE

Violence prevalence level

This level contains information about a person's experience of violence since the age of 15 for each of the 40 different types of violence and when their most recent incident of each of these types occurred. The 40 different types of violence include: the 4 different types of violence (ie sexual assault, sexual threat, physical assault & physical threat), by sex of perpetrator (ie by male and female perpetrators), by 5 key perpetrator types (stranger; boy/girlfriend or date; current partner; previous partner; other known person).

This level contains a minimum of 1 record for each person and may include multiple records for each person, depending on the number of different types of violence they have experienced. There are 24,475 Violence Prevalence records on this level. This level contains 4 index items that must be used when extracting information off this level.


Index items - Violence prevalence level NameResponse categories

Whether physical or sexualTYPEVPS0 Not applicable
1 Physical
2 Sexual
3 Total

Whether assault or threatTYPEVAT 0 Not applicable
1 Assault
2 Threat
3 Total

Sex of perpetrator TYPSEXP0 Not applicable
1 Male
2 Female
3 Total

Type of perpetratorTYPPERP0 Not applicable
1 Stranger
2 Boyfriend/Girlfriend or date
3 Current partner
4 Previous partner
5 Any Other known person
6 Total


Important notes for using the Violence prevalence level
    • In order to identify the type/s of violence a person has experienced, Index items must be specified when extracting information off this level. Where a person has not experienced any violence they will have 1 record on the Violence prevalence level with 0 Not applicable for all Index and data items. Where a person has experienced violence, they will have a minimum of 16 records on this level and the index items must be used to identify the type of experience. The only data item on this level is 'When most recent incident occurred'. This is available for each of the different types of violence.
    • Data for each of the 40 different types of violence are not able be added together to produce totals for a person's experience of violence. Adding together data for each of the 40 different types of violence would double count all persons who have experienced more than one type of violence. Therefore the components for each type of violence will not add to the total where more than 1 type of violence has been experienced.
    • To assist CURF users 'Totals' have been included for each of the Index items on the Prevalence level. Each 'Total' only counts each person once. Further information regarding summary counts on the Violence prevalence level is provided in the CURF File names - Information files section of Using the CURF.
    • Other information about a person's experience of violence is also contained on the Person level as summary aggregated data items. These aggregates provide summary information from each of the different levels (eg 'Whether ever experienced violence' - ie any of the 40 types of violence), however care should be taken when using these items in conjunction with any of the other levels. For more information see When to use Aggregate data items on the person level in Using the CURF.
    • Conceptually it is not recommended that information from the Violence prevalence level be merged with data on the other levels (other than the Person level). More information is provided Using the CURF in the Merging across levels section.
A list of the index and data items and their response categories on this level are available from the Downloads tab. For further information refer to the following worksheet in the Data Items list - 2 Violence-Prevalence.

Violence most recent incident level

The Violence most recent incident level contains information about the characteristics of a person's most recent incident of each of 8 types of violence (ie Sexual assault by a male; Sexual assault by a female; Sexual threat by a male; Sexual threat by a female; Physical assault by a male; Physical assault by a female; Physical threat by a male; and Physical threat by a female). Data about the characteristics of a person's most recent incident must be analysed separately for each of the 8 different types of violence.

Information on this level is able to be used to analyse the 8 different types of violence to assess:
    • Whether there are differences between what happens when different types of violence are experienced; and
    • Whether there are differences between what happens when a woman experiences violence, and when a man experiences violence.

Note: This level does not include information about the characteristics of a persons most recent incident where the incident occurred more than 20 years ago.

This level contains a minimum of 1 record for each person and may include multiple records for each person, depending on the number of different types of violence they have experienced. There are 20,551 Violence - Most recent incident records on this level. This level contains 3 index items that must be used when extracting information off this level.


Index items - Violence Most recent incident level NameResponse categories

Whether physical or sexualMTYPEVPS0 Not applicable
1 Physical
2 Sexual

Whether assault or threatMTYPEVAT 0 Not applicable
1 Assault
2 Threat

Sex of perpetrator MTYPSEXP0 Not applicable
1 Male
2 Female


Important notes for using the Violence most recent incident level
    • In order to identify the type/s of violence a person has experienced, Index items must be specified when extracting information off this level. Where a person has not experienced any violence they will have 1 record on the Violence most recent incident level with 0 Not applicable for all Index and data items. Where a person has experienced one or more of the 8 type/s of violence, they will have one record on this level for each type of violence they have experienced and the index items must be used to identify the type of experience.
    • 'Totals' are NOT included on this level. Conceptually it is invalid to add together data about the characteristics for the different types of violence, as actions a person may take could differ depending on the type of violence experienced. For example if a person had contacted the police about their most recent incident of physical assault by a male but had not contacted police about their most recent incident of physical assault by a female, it is impossible to calculate an estimate of whether or not this person has contacted the police about "violence" - they both have and haven't. To add together data about characteristics of the different types of violence would also double count all persons who have experienced more than one type of violence.
    • Other information about a person's experience of violence is also contained on the Person level as summary aggregated data items. These aggregates provide summary information from each of the different levels (eg 'Experience of incidents of sexual assault' and whether they had experienced 'Multiple incidents of sexual assault all by same person sexual assault' or 'Multiple incidents of sexual assault by different persons), however care should be taken when using these items in conjunction with the Violence most recent incident level and any levels. For more information see When to use Aggregate data items on the person level in Using the CURF.
    • Conceptually it is not recommended that information from the Violence most recent incident level be merged with data on the other levels (other than the Person level). More information is provided Using the CURF in the Merging across levels section.

A comprehensive list of the index items, the data items and their response categories are available from the Downloads tab. For further information refer to the following worksheet in the Data Items list - 4 Violence - MRI.

Violence partner level

The Violence partner level contains information about the characteristics of a person's experience of violence by current partner and/or their most recently violent previous partner. Data about a person's experience of partner violence must be analysed separately for current and previous partner.

This provides a powerful dataset with comprehensive information for what happens when a person experiences:
    • violence by a current partner; and
    • violence by a previous partner.

This level contains a minimum of 1 record for each person and may have up to 2 records for each person, depending on whether they have experienced current and/or previous partner violence. There are 17,087 Violence - Partner records on this level. This level contains 1 index item that must be used when extracting information off this level.


Index item - Violence Partner level NameResponse categories

Type of partner violenceTYPEPAR0 Not applicable
1 Current partner violence
2 Previous partner violence


Important notes for using the Violence partner level
    • In order to identify the type/s of partner violence a person has experienced, the Index item must be specified when extracting information off this level. Where a person has not experienced partner violence they will have 1 record on the Violence partner level with 0 Not applicable for all Index and data items. Where a person has experienced one or both types of partner violence they will have one record on this level for each different type of partner violence they have experienced and the index item must be used to identify the type/s of partner violence they experienced.
    • 'Totals' are NOT included on this level. The characteristics of current partner and previous partner violence are not able be added together to produce a total for characteristics of "partner violence". Conceptually it is invalid to add together data about the characteristics for current and previous partner violence, as actions a person may take could differ depending on the type of partner. For example, if a person had contacted the police about the violence by their most recently violent previous partner but had never contacted police about the violence by their current partner, it is impossible to calculate an estimate of whether or not this person had contacted the police about "partner violence" - they both have and haven't. To add together data about characteristics of current and previous partner violence would also double count all persons who have experienced violence by both a current and a previous partner.
    • Other information about a person's experience of violence is also contained on the Person level as summary aggregated data items. These aggregates provide summary information from each of the different levels (eg 'Whether experienced current and/or previous partner violence since age 15'), however care should be taken when using these items in conjunction with the Violence partner level or any other levels. For more information see When to use Aggregate data items on the person level in Using the CURF.
    • Conceptually it is generally not recommended that information from the Violence partner level be merged with data on the other levels (other than the Person level). More information is provided Using the CURF in the Merging across levels section.

A comprehensive list of the index items, the data items and their response categories are available from the Downloads tab. For further information refer to the following worksheet in the Data Items list - 5 Violence-Partner.

Emotional abuse by a partner level

The Emotional abuse level is used to assess a person's experience of emotional abuse by current partner and/or male previous partner and/or female previous partner. Data about the characteristics of a person's experience of emotional abuse by a previous partner must be analysed separately for sex of partner (ie male/female previous partner).

Information on this level is able to be used to analyse for differences in what happens when a person experiences emotional abuse by different partner types.

This level contains a minimum of 1 record for each person and may have up to 3 records for each person depending on whether they have experienced emotional abuse by a current partner, a male previous partner and/or a female previous partner. There are 17,259 Emotional Abuse records on this level. This level contains 2 index items that must be used when extracting information from this level.


Index items - Emotional abuse by a partner level NameResponse categories

Sex of partner SEXEMAB0 Not applicable
1 Male
2 Female

Type of partnerTYPEEMAB 0 Not applicable
1 Current partner
2 Previous partner


Important notes for using the Emotional abuse by a partner level
    • Where a person has not experienced emotional abuse by any partner they will have 1 record on the emotional abuse by partner level with 0 Not applicable for all Index and data items. Where a person has experienced emotional abuse by a partner, they will have one record on this level for each different partner type/s they experienced emotional abuse by and the index items must be used to identify the type of experience.
    • In order to extract information about current partner emotional abuse, only the Type of partner index item must be specified when extracting information off this level: the sex of partner index item can also be specified but as a person can only have 1 current partner, there will only be one set of data for current partner emotional abuse per person. Where a person has not experienced current partner emotional abuse the data items on this level will be 0 Not applicable.
    • In order to identify the type/s of previous partner emotional abuse a person has experienced, both the Index items must be specified when extracting information off this level. Where a person has not experienced a particular type of previous partner emotional abuse the data items on this level will be 0 Not applicable.
    • 'Totals' are NOT included on this level as it would be conceptually invalid to add together characteristics for the different types of emotional abuse by a partner on this level.
    • The characteristics of previous partner emotional abuse are not able be added together to produce a total for characteristics of "previous partner emotional abuse", as actions a person may take could differ for the two previous partners. For example, if a person had experienced anxiety or fear due the emotional abuse by their most recently emotionally abusive male previous partner but had not experienced anxiety or fear due the emotional abuse by their most recently emotionally abuse female previous partner, it is impossible to calculate an estimate of whether or not this person has experienced anxiety or fear due to "previous partner emotional abuse" - they both have and haven't. To add together data about characteristics of previous partner emotional abuse would also double count all persons who have experienced emotional abuse by both a male and a female previous partner.
    • The characteristics of current partner and previous partner emotional abuse are not able be added together to produce a total for characteristics of "partner emotional abuse". Conceptually it is invalid to add together data about the characteristics for current and previous partner emotional abuse, as actions a person may take could differ depending on the type of partner. For example, if a person had experienced anxiety or fear due the emotional abuse by their current partner but had not experienced anxiety or fear due the emotional abuse by their most recently emotionally abuse male previous partner, it is impossible to calculate an estimate of whether or not this person has experienced anxiety or fear due to "partner emotional abuse" - they both have and haven't. To add together data about characteristics of current and previous partner emotional abuse would also double count all persons who have experienced emotional abuse by both a current and a previous partner.
    • Other information about a person's experience of emotional abuse and violence by a partner is also contained on the Person level as summary aggregated data items. These aggregates provide summary information from each of the different levels (eg 'Whether experienced emotional abuse by a current and/or previous partner since age 15'), however care should be taken when using these aggregate data items in conjunction with the Emotional abuse by a partner level or any other levels. For more information see When to use Aggregate data items on the person level in Using the CURF.
    • Conceptually it is generally not recommended that information from the Emotional abuse by a partner level be merged with data on the other levels (other than the Person level). More information is provided Using the CURF in the Merging across levels section.

A comprehensive list of the index items, the data items and their response categories are available from the Downloads tab. For further information refer to the following worksheet in the Data Items list - 6 Emotional Abuse.

Abuse before the age of 15 level

The Abuse before the age of 15 level is used to assess a person's experience of physical and/or sexual abuse by an adult before the age of 15. Data about the characteristics of a person's experience of abuse before the age of 15 must be analysed separately for each type of abuse (ie physical/sexual).

This level contains a minimum of 1 record for each person and may have up to 2 records for each person. There are 17,759 Abuse records on this level. This level contains 1 index item that must be used when extracting information off from this level.


Index item - Abuse before the age of 15 level NameResponse categories

Type of abuse experienced before the age of 15TYPEABU0 Not applicable
1 Physical abuse before age 15
2 Sexual abuse before age 15
3 Physical abuse before age 15 - refused
4 Sexual abuse before age 15 - refused


Important notes for using the Abuse before the age of 15 level
    • In order to identify the type/s of abuse a person has experienced before the age of 15, the Index item must be specified when extracting information off this level. Where a person has not experienced abuse before the age of 15 they will have 1 record on this level with 0 Not applicable for all Index and data items. Where a person has experienced abuse before the age of 15, they will have one record on this level for each different type/s of abuse they experienced and the index item must be used to identify the type of experience.
    • Where a person has refused to answer the questions regarding their experience of physical and/or sexual abuse before the age of 15 they will have one record on this level for each different type/s of abuse they refused to answer with 3 Physical abuse before age 15 - refused and/or 4 Sexual abuse before age 15 - refused for the index items and 0 Not applicable for all the data items.
    • 'Totals' are NOT included on this level. The characteristics of sexual abuse and physical abuse are not able be added together to produce a total for characteristics of "abuse before age 15". To add together data about characteristics of sexual and physical abuse would double count all persons who have experienced sexual and physical abuse.
    • Other related information about a person's experience of abuse before the age of 15 is contained on the Person level as summary aggregated data items. These aggregates provide summary information (eg 'Whether experienced abuse before age 15' - ie either sexual or physical abuse), and should never be used in conjunction with characteristics from the Abuse before the age of 15 level. For more information see When to use Aggregate data items on the person level in Using the CURF.
A comprehensive list of the index items, the data items and their response categories are available from the Downloads tab. For further information refer to the following worksheet in the Data Items list - 7 Abuse.

Stalking level
The Stalking level is used to assess a person's experience of stalking by a male and stalking by a female. Data about the characteristics of a person's experience of stalking must be analysed separately for each sex of perpetrator (ie stalking by a male/stalking by a female).

Information on this level is able to be used to analyse for differences in what happens when a person experiences stalking by a male or by a female stalker.

This level contains a minimum of 1 record for each person and may have up to 2 records for each person. There are 17,222 Stalking records on this level. This level contains 1 index item that must be used when extracting information from this level.


Index item - Stalking level NameResponse categories

Sex of perpetrator SEXSTK0 Not applicable
1 Male
2 Female


Important notes for using the Stalking level
    • In order to identify the type/s of stalking a person has experienced (ie stalking by a male or by a female), the Index item must be specified when extracting information off this level. Where a person has not experienced stalking they will have 1 record on the Stalking level with 0 Not applicable for all Index and data items. Where a person has experienced stalking by a male and/or stalking by a female they will have one record on this level for each type experienced and the index item must be used to identify the different type of stalking they experienced.
    • 'Totals' are NOT included on this level. The characteristics of stalking by a male and stalking by a female are not able be added together to produce a total for characteristics of "stalking". Conceptually it is invalid to add together data about the characteristics for stalking by a male and stalking by a female, as actions a person may take could differ depending on the episode. For example, if a person had contacted the police about the stalking by a male but had not contacted police about stalking by a female, it is impossible to calculate an estimate of whether or not this person has contacted the police about "stalking" - they both have and haven't. To add together data about characteristics of stalking by a male and stalking by a female would also double count all persons who have experienced stalking by both a male and a female.
    • Other information about a person's experience of stalking is also contained on the Person level as summary aggregated data items. These aggregates provide summary information from each of the different levels (eg 'Whether ever experienced stalking' - ie by a male or by a female), however care should be taken when using these aggregate data items in conjunction with the Stalking level or any other levels. For more information see When to use Aggregate data items on the person level in Using the CURF.
    • Conceptually it is not recommended that information from the Stalking level be merged with data on the other levels (other than the Person level). More information is provided Using the CURF in the Merging across levels section.

A comprehensive list of the index items, the data items and their response categories are available from the Downloads tab. For further information refer to the following worksheet in the Data Items list - 9 Stalking.

Data users are strongly encouraged to refer to the Interpretation of Results, Survey Definitions and Data Collection chapters of the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2012 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003) for further information to assist them with using information from the PSS CURF.