4533.0 - Directory of Family and Domestic Violence Statistics, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/11/2011   
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Contents >> National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women Survey, 2009 (NCAS)



Geographic CoverageFrequencyData Availability
New South Wales
Western Australia
South Australia
Northern Territory
ASGC Remoteness
More than annual
2-4 yearly2
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
[2] Run in 2009, then 4 yearly from 2014



Data custodian: Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Agency responsible for collecting the data: The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)

Contact for data access requests: Branch Manager, Safety Taskforce Branch

Address: PO Box 7576, Canberra Business Centre, ACT, 2610

Telephone: 1300 653 227

Facsimile: n/a

Email: fiona.smart@fahcsia.gov.au

Contact for questions about the research: Program Manager, Preventing Violence Against Women.

Address: Ground Floor, 15–31 Pelham St (PO Box 154), Carlton South, VIC, 3053

Telephone: (03) 9667 1333

Facsimile: (03) 9667 1375

Email: rimbesi@vichealth.vic.gov.au

Internet: http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/


Summary of findings, Project technical report and Fact sheet are available at:



The National Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women Survey, 2009 (NCAS) establishes a benchmark against which changes in attitudes can be more closely monitored over time. The results will guide the development and targeting of interventions that can build cultures of non-violence and value equal and respectful relationships between men and women.

The aims of the NCAS project are to:

        • Gauge contemporary attitudes within the Australian community about violence against women and track shifts in attitudes since 1995;
        • Identify demographic and social factors which may impact on the types and nature of attitudes held within the Australian community;
        • Understand attitudes to violence against women in selected culturally and linguistically diverse and Indigenous communities.
        • Assist in identifying where prevention and other targeted initiatives may be needed.

The survey comprised three components:
    • Telephone interviews with people across Australia about their attitudes towards violence against women.
    • Telephone interviews with an additional sample of people from selected culturally and linguistically diverse (SCALD) backgrounds.
    • Face-to-face interviews with Indigenous Australians.
In addition, some exploratory research using interviews and focus groups was undertaken with emerging migrant and newly arrived communities.

The project focuses on five major areas of community attitudes towards violence against women:
1. Perceptions of what constitutes domestic violence, sexual violence and sexual harassment
2. Understanding of the consequences and harms caused by violence
3. Beliefs regarding whether violence against women is justifiable or excusable
4. Myths and beliefs about victims and offenders

Collection Type


Family and Domestic Violence related content (data items collected)

Data Item
Secondary victim
Indigenous Status
Country of Birth

Year of arrival;
Country of birth of father;
Country of birth of mother
Language spoken


Highest level of formal education

SCALD group2; Generation2; Household composition
Personal data items
Services used / referrals to services

Health factors
alcohol use / substance use
mental illness
FDV-related perceptions
satisfaction with police response
seriousness/ regarded as criminal
whether problem in neighbourhood
feelings of safety / fear


Main form of violence personally most worried about
Behaviours viewed as Violence against women (VAW);
Perceptions of whether men, women or both commit VAW;
Perceptions about police response and likelihood of reporting to police;
Perceptions of whether people ignore VAW;
Perceived risks for VAW (eg. migrant families, women with disabilities);
Perception VAW is a private matter;
Attitudes about any mitigating factors (e.g. alcohol; anger; offender regrets afterwards) and victim/ perpetrator responsibility for violence;
Attitudes to leaving a violent relationship;
Whether perceive women are likely to make false claims of VAW (e.g. during custody battles);
Whether & how would intervene if a friend or family member experienced VAW
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 personal data items

Knowledge of where to go for help;
Gender equity index
1 Respondent may or may not have experienced FDV.
2 Selected Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (SCALD) survey respondents only.

Data Item
school/place of education/institution
public place
Relationship between parties
married/de facto spouse
current / former partner/boyfriend/girlfriend
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

Definition of Family and Domestic Violence

NCAS 2009 focuses on community attitudes towards interpersonal forms of gender-based violence as they affect women, including:
  • domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, family violence or relationship violence;
  • sexual harassment;
  • sexual assault, including rape; and
  • stalking.

Attitudes towards FDV-related behaviours specifically are defined by the questions asked and include slapping or pushing to cause harm of fear; forcing a partner to have sex; throwing or smashing objects near the partner to threaten or frighten them; threatening to hurt family members to scare or control partner; yelling abuse at partner; controlling the social life of partner; criticising partner to make them feel bad or useless; controlling partner by denying money.

Aspects of FDV captured by the NCAS are:
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Property damage
Attitudes about stalking and harassment are included in the survey but not specifically within the context of FDV.

Relationship to Conceptual Framework for Family and Domestic Violence (Cat. No. 4529.0)

Conceptual Framework Element / Sub-element
Amount of Information Available
Environmental Factors
Individual pyscho-social factors
Community prevalence
Community incidence
Understandings and acknowledgments of risk and safety
Informal responses
Formal system responses
Programs, Research & Evaluation

Collection methodology

General community survey
Conducted by the Social Research Centre using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). A random digit dialling frame was constructed from electronic White Pages numbers ‘+2’. These numbers were ‘matched’ against a list contain more up to date addresses and a preliminary approach letter was sent to those households. Individual participants were selected from within each household as the person aged 16 years and over with the next birthday. Verbal parental consent was obtained prior to interviewing persons aged 16-17. This generated a random sample of 10,100 respondents nationally, with a minimum of 1000 in each state/territory. The sample was stratified by state/territory and metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas and yielded a response of 49.8%.

Data were weighted using 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data for generation, sex and age within the five ethnicities to provide a nationally representative sample.

While the findings of the 2009 survey are intended to be comparable with the 1995 national survey, readers should note changes to the instrument may impact on comparability.

SCALD survey
Comprised 2,501 Australian residents of Chinese (500), Vietnamese (500), Indian (500), Italian (501) or Greek (500) background. A stratified random sample of households was obtained using Electronic white Pages listings, filtered by most common surnames in each community and the top 50 postcodes within Australia with residents of these communities. Further sample was obtained just using surnames. The response rate was 33.8%.

Data were weighted using 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data for sex, age and geographic location (state) to provide a nationally representative sample.

Indigenous survey
Comprised face-to-face interviews with 400 Indigenous Australians interviewed across nine metropolitan and regional locations within Australia. Sample was generated through community consultation and networking. The response rate was 37.2%. Data were not weighted and therefore the sample is not representative of any population other than those interviewed.

Researchers referred participants to appropriate support services as required/on request.

Interviews were gender-matched within each survey group.

More detailed descriptions of the methodologies used in each sample are provided in the Project Technical Report.

Scope / target population

The in-scope population for the quantitative surveys was persons aged 16 years of age and over who were residents of private households in Australia.


The following population groups were excluded from the survey:
    • Households without a landline;
    • Residents of institutional quarters (prisons, nursing homes, etc) and military bases;
    • Persons incapable of undertaking the interview due to a physical or mental health
    • condition (including too old / frail);
    • Persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and
    • Non-English speaking persons outside of the five target CALD communities targeted for this survey.
    • Households with no person aged 16 years or over in residence.

In addition, the SCALD component also excluded females who had married into other ethnic groups and changed their name.

Geographic coverage and disaggregation

National. Postcode collected.

Data available for:
State/Territory (all)
Other - Capital city / rest of state (Community Survey only)

Frequency / Timing

2009; Will be run every four years from 2014.

Collection history

Collection commenced: February - August 2009

Breaks in series: no

Other details: The design and approach of the 2009 National Survey on Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women (CATVAW) builds on the methodologies adopted in the last two major Australian surveys: the national survey conducted in 1995 by the Office for the Status of Women and the Victorian Community Attitude Study co-ordinated by VicHealth in 2006.

The NCAS will be run every 4 years from 2014.

Data availability / Dissemination

Frequency tables are published in the Project Technical Report. All available outputs are published.

Other data sources held by this agency


Has this data source changed?
Contact the ABS to report updates or corrections to the information above.

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