4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/2019   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

APPENDIX 4: UNDERSTANDING FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DATA

Identifying experiences of family and domestic violence in the 2014-15 NATSISS

1 Respondents were asked to provide information on their experiences of physical violence or threats of physical violence in the previous 12 months. Due to the sensitive nature of the questions, responses were not compulsory, and a person may have chosen not to answer some or any questions.

2 Physical violence refers to any incident that involves physical assault, which is the use of physical force by a person with the intent to harm or frighten another person. It includes being pushed, shoved, hit or attacked with a weapon. In remote areas, respondents were asked whether anyone started a fight with them or beat them up. Other forms of abuse (e.g. sexual, emotional, psychological) are not included.

3 Respondents who indicated they had experienced physical violence were asked for more information about their most recent experience, including their relationship to the perpetrator. If the respondent identified an intimate partner or family member as a perpetrator (see Figure 1.1), then they are considered to have experienced family and domestic violence. Respondents were able to identify more than one perpetrator where necessary.

Figure 1.1 Perpetrator types for family and domestic violence



Relationship to perpetrator
Intimate partnerFamily member

Current partner (husband/wife/defacto)Parent
Previous partner (husband/wife/defacto)Child
Boyfriend/girlfriend/ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriendSibling
DateOther family member



4 A perpetrator may have been an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person or a non-Indigenous person.

Data limitations

5 Family and domestic violence data is based on the respondent’s most recent experience of physical violence. This means some experiences of family and domestic violence are not included. It also means it is not possible to estimate the overall prevalence of family and domestic violence.

6 For example, a respondent may have experienced physical violence on two occasions in the last 12 months. On the first occasion, the perpetrator was the respondent’s boyfriend. On the second occasion, the perpetrator was a fellow student. This respondent is not included in the family and domestic violence data because the perpetrator in the most recent experience was not an intimate partner or family member.

7 Respondents were also asked whether they had experienced threats of physical violence. Those who had experienced threats of physical violence were not asked about their relationship to the perpetrator, so it is not possible to identify threats of physical violence made by intimate partners or family members. However, this information will be collected for the first time in the 2018-19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS). Results from the NATSIHS are expected to be released in late 2019.

Comparisons between people who had experienced family and domestic violence and people who had not experienced any violence

8 Comparisons made between people who had experienced family and domestic violence and people who had not experienced any physical violence are not intended to suggest there is a causal relationship between the relevant characteristics and experiences of family and domestic violence.

Comparability with other data sources

9 The definition of intimate partner in the article Experiences of Physical Violence in National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0) excluded boyfriend/girlfriend/ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend or date; however, data can be extracted to match the definition used for the 2014-15 NATSISS.

10 The family and domestic violence data from this survey is comparable with data for the total population from Crime Victimisation, Australia (cat. no. 4530.0). It is not comparable with: