DATA NEEDS IN RELATION TO 'CONTEXT' ELEMENT OF THE FRAMEWORK
Given that FDV is an area of interest for multiple disciplines, there are a range of different agencies and researchers that require data from across the health, welfare, community and justice sectors. Contextual factors can relate to systematic, community or individual characteristics as well as the formation and effect of attitudes.
The following contextual factors may influence the vulnerability of individuals as both victims and offenders:
- socioeconomic status;
- social dislocation;
- social and geographical isolation;
- criminal histories;
- recurrence of abuse or violence;
- mental health;
- patterns of substance use and abuse in the general community; and
- age-groups and population groups of interest (for example, children and youth), and by gender.
There is also interest in further understanding the dynamics involved in family or domestic relationships that may contribute to FDV for a victim or perpetrator, e.g. family breakdown, use of support networks or services, family stresses and transitions, and personal histories of mental illness, substance use and violence. Where these themes of interest overlap, there is added complexity in the analysis of family and domestic violence.
Contextual factors may also contribute towards the formation of attitudes about subpopulations and the use of violence, as well as the attitudes held within particular groups. Attitudes of particular interests that emerged in consultation with experts, key stakeholders and user were those about:
- women, children and elders;
- those within particular sub-populations (such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people with disabilities); and
- those within ethnic or religious groups.
It is acknowledged that researchers and policy developers are often interested in developing links of causality between contextual factors and the occurrence of FDV. This type of analysis requires special purpose studies that may involve a longitudinal component.
- What are the environmental factors that influence the societal and community context within which FDV occurs?
- What are the factors that influence community attitude formation and change?
- Where might there be opportunities to influence or change this environment?
- What environmental factors are most predictive of an increased prevalence of FDV?