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Definition of family and domestic violence
Relationship to Defining the data challenge for family, domestic and sexual violence (cat. no. 4529.0)
Family and domestic violence related content (data items collected)
Scope / Target population
Data availability / Dissemination
Other directory data sources held by this agency
LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF SEPARATED FAMILIES, AUSTRALIA (LSSF)
|Collection type||Geographic coverage||Frequency||Data availability |
- Detailed publication/report publicly available
The study aimed to facilitate an ongoing understanding of the experiences, behaviours and circumstances of separated parents and their children in the longer term.
"Family Pathways: The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families" (LSSF) explores issues about separation and caring for children when a relationship ends. This information provides a picture of what life is like for separated parents across a broad range of care arrangements, from shared care through to one parent never seeing their child. The study helps to improve understandings of the early and longer term trajectories of separated parents and their children. Findings from Wave 1 of this study contributed strongly to the AIFS' evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms.
DEFINITION OF FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
RELATIONSHIP TO DEFINING THE DATA CHALLENGE FOR FAMILY, DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE (cat. no. 4529.0)
|The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families Australia (LSSF) uses a broad definition of family and domestic violence, incorporating both the Family Law Act (section 4) and the Screening and Assessment Framework Guidelines for Family Dispute Resolution as these provide the context for family separation experiences being assessed by the LSSF.
The Family Law Act (Section 4) defines family violence as:
“conduct, whether actual or threatened, by a person towards, or towards the property of, a member of the person's family that causes that or any other member of the person's family reasonably to fear for, or reasonably to be apprehensive about, his or her personal well-being or safety.”
The Screening and Assessment Guidelines refer to the Partnerships Against Domestic Violence (1997) definition, which is:
“ …an abuse of power perpetrated mainly (but not only) by men against women both in a relationship and after separation. It occurs when one partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate or control the other. Domestic violence takes a number of forms. The most commonly acknowledged forms are physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional and social abuse and economic deprivation.” (AGD 2006, p. 27)
To establish whether family and domestic violence was a factor in their separation experience, respondents were asked a series of questions about their former partners behaviour (Wave 1 time frame: before/during separation; Waves 2 & 3 time frame: 12 months prior to interview). At any time before or during the separation, did the focus parent ever/ in the past 12 months prior has the focus parent:
- tried to prevent you from contacting family or friends;
- tried to prevent you from using the telephone or car;
- tried to prevent knowledge of or access to family money;
- insulted you with the intent to shame, belittle or humiliate;
- threatened to harm the child/children;
- threatened to harm other family/friends;
- threatened to harm you;
- damaged or destroyed property;
- threatened to harm or harmed pets; or
- threatened to harm themselves.
In LSSF Wave 3, the following additional items were asked:
- tried to force you into any unwanted sexual activity;
- monitored your whereabouts (eg.Follow you, make constant phone calls etc.)
- circulated defamatory comments about you with the intent to shame, belittle or humiliate (including through social media)
In LSSF Wave 3, where respondents answered "yes" to the above questions they were asked how frequently this occurred in the past 12 months (often/sometimes/rarely/once only/never).
Aspects of family and domestic violence captured by the data are:
- physical abuse;
- psychological/emotional abuse;
- verbal abuse;
- economic abuse;
- social abuse; and
- property damage.
The summary table below is designed to indicate the amount of information available for each of the six elements outlined in Defining the Data Challenge for Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence, 2013 (cat. no. 4529.0).
This is a subjective assessment made by the ABS about the data collected and is not an indication of data quality.
FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RELATED CONTENT (data items collected)
The following tables provide a detailed analysis of the availability of specified data elements in the data source. The data items have been grouped into four counting units:
3. Incident/Event; and
Tables are absent from the entry in cases where the data source contains no data items which relate to the particular counting unit/s.
This data source does not contain any data items relevant to this counting unit. Person
 Respondent may or may not have experienced family and domestic violence.
 Wave 1 asked whether anyone in the household had a disability or medical condition; or whether respondent provides ongoing care for anyone in the household with a disability or special needs.Incident/event
|The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families (LSSF) is a national study of some 10,000 parents (with at least one child under 18 years old) who separated after the introduction of the reforms between July 2006 and December 2007. The study involves the collection of data from the same group of parents over time. A random sample was used to select respondents from Child Support Agency clients and surveys were conducted by telephone interview. |
Where the separated couple had more than one child together who was under 18 years at the time of the survey, most of the child-related questions that were asked focused on only one of these children (called the “focus child”).
The first wave of the LSSF took place between August and October 2008, up to 26 months after the time of parental separation. The final overall response rate for LSSF Wave 1 (2008) was 60.2%. An equal gender split was achieved. The majority of participants were aged between 25 and 44 years (74%) and were born in Australia (83%).
A second wave of 7,031 re-interviews was conducted between September and November 2009. In addition, adolescent children of parents participating in the LSSF were also surveyed following Wave 2. This adolescent survey obtained information about their experiences and opinions relating to parental separation. The second wave of data from the LSSF and the Adolescent survey data were analysed and the reports are available at the links below (see Data Availability).
LSSF Wave 3 was undertaken between September and November 2012 and re-interviewed parents who participated in previous waves. The data from Wave 3 is currently being analysed in a report that will be submitted to AGD in late 2013.
Information collected as part of this study will contribute to understanding of the experiences, behaviours and circumstances of separated parents and their children in the longer-term.
|Parents, 18 years or over, who met the following criteria: |
- separated after 1 July 2006,
- registered with the Child Support Agency (CSA) in 2007,
- had at least one child under age 18 years.
DATA AVAILABILITY / DISSEMINATION
Evaluation of the 2006 family law reforms
View of adolescents in separated families: a study of adolescents' experiences after the 2006 reforms to the family law system
Parenting dynamics after separation: A follow-up study of parents who separated after the 2006 family law reforms
|Data are not routinely available, The reports listed below (see Publications section) are publicly available online and highlight findings from the LSSF (an additional report on LSSF Wave 3 is due for submission to AGD in late 2013).|
OTHER DIRECTORY DATA SOURCES HELD BY THIS AGENCY
Australian Temperament Project (ATP)
Evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms Legislation and Courts Project, Australia
Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)
Survey of Family Relationship Service Clients, 2009
|Collection commenced: 2008|
Breaks in series: n/a
Other details: The questions on family violence were also asked in the cross sectional survey Looking Back Survey conducted in 2009. This survey interviewed 2,000 separated parents who registered with the CSA in 2005 and separated before 1 July 2006 (prior to the introduction of the 2006 family law reforms). The questions on family violence and other questions asked in this survey were similar to the LSSF Wave 1.
The emotional abuse questions were modified in Wave 3, based on some questions asked in the ABS Personal Safety Survey.