By Ken Macleod
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
Update 18 October 2017

Domestic and family violence is a silent killer in Australia, and its impacts are felt across all sections of our society. More than one Australian is killed every week at the hands of a partner, ex-partner or family member and hundreds of thousands experience physical assault.

The below visualisation and accompanying charts show the worst instances of family/domestic violence where victims have lost their lives.

The data is sourced from the Australian Institute of Criminology, and has been calculated over financial years 1989/90 to 2013/14.

Data beyond 2013/14 is not available as some coroners’ inquiries and court cases have not been finalised for this period.

  •   

    Each icon represents a victim of domestic/family homicide.

The colour of the person represents the victim’s relationship to the offender.

  •   

    Female Partner

     (victim and offender are current or former partners [married, defacto, boy/girlfriend])
  •   

    Male Partner

     (victim and offender are current or former partners [married, defacto, boy/girlfriend])
  •   

    Child

     (victim is the child of the offender)
  •   

    Parent

     (victim is the parent of the offender)
  •   

    Sibling

     (victim and offender are brother/s or sister/s)
  •   

    Other Family

     (includes nieces, uncles, cousins, grandparents)

Victims of domestic/family homicide between 1989/90 and 2011/12

Accumulative number of victims 1989/90 to 2011/12
Female Partner Male Partner Child Parent Sibling Other Family 
1,336435593314135259

The charts below remodel the above visualisation in a way that allows for a more accurate comparison over the time period. The first chart shows the total victim numbers, and the second chart shows the victim numbers in the individual relationship categories. These numbers reflect the total number of homicides as a result of family violence; not the rate of reported incidences of family violence.

Total victims by year - 1989/90 to 2011/12
Total victims in relationship categories by year - 1989/90 to 2013/14

Although domestic homicide numbers in Australia are high there has been a slight decrease in the homicide rate. In 2001/02 the overall homicide rate was 1.8 per 100,000 people, this reduced to 1.1 per 100,000 people in 2011/12, with a decrease in the number of homicides recorded across all relationship categories.

Readers seeking support and information can contact:

Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line: 1800 737 732
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800

SBS would like to acknowledge the help of the AIC and its National Homicide Monitoring Program Database.