AIC research giving voice to victims of intimate partner homicide

Department of Home Affairs

The latest Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) research is giving a voice to the victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). The study Giving voice to the silenced victims: A qualitative study of intimate partner femicide was conducted by Griffith University and funded through the AIC’s Criminology Research Grants Program. The report specifically examines women who have been abused and killed by intimate partners as tragically women are much more likely than men to be killed by an intimate partner in Australia.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said this new research into intimate partner homicide and extreme violence against women will inform public policy and support the efforts of Commonwealth, state and territory law enforcement bodies and others working to end violence against women and bring perpetrators to justice.

“The Government has zero tolerance for violence against women and it is important that police, service providers and the community are fully equipped to recognise the risk factors women face when they attempt to leave violent and abusive relationships,” Minister Andrews said.

“Violence against women and children is intolerable and this latest research will shape discussions about the extent and impact of intimate partner violence, and will help to identify clear prevention strategies and educate the broader community to improve women’s safety.”

Each year, an estimated 35 women will be killed by a current or ex-partner making intimate partner homicides the most common way in which women are murdered in Australia.

While IPV has declined in recent decades and community awareness of domestic and family violence has increased, incidences of IPV remain unacceptably high.

“It is important we hear and understand these personal accounts of the victim’s family and friends who have endured the unthinkable consequence of having their loved one killed by an intimate partner. Along with victim impact statements and police reports this research provides valuable information about the threats of violence to women, particularly when they attempt to separate from abusive and violent partners and the difficulties they face when seeking help,” Minister Andrews said.

“We must all be alert to the dangers women in our community face when it comes to offenders who have a violent criminal history and a track record of subjecting their partners to stalking, intimidation, controlling and coercive behaviour and physical violence.

“Intimate partner violence not only tragically takes away young women’s lives, it also destroys families. In the worst cases children are left without their mother while their father is imprisoned for their brutal crime with decades-long consequences for victim-survivors and the communities where these horrendous murders take place.”

“The Morrison Government will invest $22.4 million over five years to establish a Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission to oversee the implementation of the next National Plan to end violence against women and children,” Minister Andrews said.

“We have invested an historic $1.1 billion in women’s safety which followed our $130 million National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Responses.

“Our $260 million National Partnership Agreement is the single biggest payment from the Commonwealth to states and territories for domestic and family violence responses.”

The AIC is continuing to contribute to the growing body of research in Australia exploring the effects of violence against women and children, specifically IPV as well as the impact of the pandemic on this issue.

This study further supports the findings of recent AIC research on the pathways into intimate partner homicide, published by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited.

The report is attached and available on the AIC website:

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