DATA NEEDS IN RELATION TO ‘IMPACTS AND OUTCOMES' ELEMENT OF THE FRAMEWORK
A range of data about impacts and outcomes may be required to fully inform this element of the Framework. As examples, information can be gathered when victims report in victimisation surveys, or access counselling or support programs; from partners of those involved in behaviour change programs; or potentially through the administrative by-product data of health and welfare information systems. The following explains some of these needs in more detail.
Health, and other psycho-social supports
Information on the range and severity of physical and mental health impacts, and the longer-term outcomes of FDV, would inform an understanding of the experiences of victims and those who witness FDV, and assist in the provision of appropriate support and services. An understanding of the experience of seeking and receiving these services and referrals - through GPs, hospitals, counsellors etc. - would also assist to further develop appropriate supports for victims of FDV.
Experience of the criminal justice system
An understanding of victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system would provide information for evaluating and improving system responses, processes and outcomes. It is important to measure perceptions of these experiences and responses as they may influence the propensity to report crime generally, and FDV in particular.
Measurement of the types of direct economic costs to victims informs the overall impact and outcomes of FDV and can assist in estimating the cost of crime. Changes in work patterns and income may occur through:
- a reduction in hours due to the impacts of FDV; or
- an increase in the amount of time spent at work in an attempt to avoid being at home.
Further economic impacts for victims and secondary victims may be felt through costs associated with moving house, relocating, and losses to income involved in the dissolution of a relationship.
In order to fully assess the areas of individual wellbeing affected by FDV, information is required about changes across relationship/family status and residence, in social and other relationships, in day-to-day activities, work or study, and in financial situation.
Health and other psycho-social supports
Outcomes of treatment programs, rehabilitation programs and other interventions and supports provide for evaluation and an indication of their effectiveness. An understanding of the elements associated with positive or negative outcomes (rehabilitation or recidivism) is important in planning future interventions and better targeting programs to treat and assist particular types of perpetrators. Information about the effectiveness of such programs may potentially be elicited from those involved, and their former or current partners.
Criminal justice outcomes
Criminal justice outcomes for perpetrators can be well-documented and recorded when FDV is reported and dealt with through police, courts and corrective services. There are issues in the identification of perpetrators of FDV however, given that offenders in many jurisdictions will be charged with offences such as assault that are not further defined or flagged as FDV-related. Thus meaningful and detailed data about perpetrators can be lost in justice systems.
At the same time there is also a need for a better understanding of the outcomes for those perpetrators who do not progress beyond key points in the criminal justice system. Information about outcomes may influence public confidence in the system’s ability to deal with FDV, and thus influence future reporting of crime in general and FDV in particular.
Family, friends and community
Information required about impacts on family and friends includes:
- types of support provided;
- linkages to outcomes for the victim (or perpetrator);
- changes in relationships;
- changes to activities or lifestyle; and
- any costs incurred - whether emotional or financial.
- What are the impacts and outcomes of FDV for victims? How do these vary for different population groups?
- Are there impacts on victims of violence resulting from their interactions with other legal processes, e.g. relocation orders?
- Do rates of accessing services or seeking criminal justice protection vary across different population groups? If so, why?
- What are the impacts and outcomes of FDV for perpetrators, both those within the criminal justice system and those who do not come into contact with the system?
- Does arrest reduce the likelihood of recidivism, with current or future partners?
- What are the impacts and outcomes for perpetrators of FDV with a criminal conviction?
- What are the impacts and outcomes of FDV for children and other witnesses to FDV?
- What are the impacts and outcomes of FDV for family, friends and the community?
- Who are the indirect victims of FDV?
- What are the social costs of FDV?
- What are the economic costs of FDV for responding to family and domestic violence through the health, welfare and criminal justice system?
- What are the impacts of the changed economic contribution made by individuals affected by FDV?