The risk or likelihood of being a victim or perpetrator of family, domestic or sexual violence may be increased through previous exposure to family, domestic or sexual violence or other forms of violence. Information about previous exposure, for example, can feed into the formal risk assessment tools that are often utilised by agencies when determining the level of response and support required for clients. As a result, interventions can be planned to reduce the risk in individual situations.
Additionally, profiles of high-risk categories of potential perpetrators and victims may be constructed using data about known perpetrators and victims. Such data may be collected through victimisation surveys, or administrative data held by service providers. These profiles may then be used to target education campaigns and programs to influence attitudes and behaviour, and raise the awareness of people in these categories.
Changes over time
The risk or likelihood of being a victim or perpetrator of family, domestic or sexual violence may change over time, or as a result of mediating factors. Such factors may include routine activities and lifestyle changes; age and gender; increased levels of support through informal networks; or engagement with programs or formal interventions to support individuals, partnerships or families to target gender based violence or supportive attitudes and relieve stressors.
Measurement of key indicators and determinants of family, domestic or sexual violence can reveal changes in incidence and prevalence such as:
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- the level of reporting of family, domestic or sexual violence may change over time, independently of any change in incidence and prevalence rates, e.g. through awareness campaigns;
- the processes for translating reported incidents into recording systems may change; and
- the timing of reporting does not necessarily correspond to the timing of incident(s), e.g. current figures may be inflated by reporting of past incidents.