Strengthening the web of accountability: Criminal courts and family violence offenders
Family violence is a significant problem in Australian society. In 2012, an estimated 17 per cent of women and 5.3 per cent of men had experienced physical violence and an estimated 25 per cent of women and 14 per cent of men had experienced emotional abuse by a partner.1 Family violence causes a great degree of harm. On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.2 Of those women who experience violence, more than half have children in their care.3 It has been estimated that violence against women and their children cost the Australian economy $13.6 billion per year.4
There have been renewed efforts to prevent family violence and improve the safety of victims through the Australian government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022, the establishment of the Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (‘ANROWS’) and two major state-based inquiries — the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland and the Royal Commission into Family Violence in Victoria.