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, approximately one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence during their lifetime, nearly one in five women have experienced some form of sexual violence and nearly one in five have experienced violence by a current or previous partner.Findings from the Another Australian survey found that one-third of women who have a former or current intimate partner reported experiencing some form of physical, sexual or psychological violence (Mouzos & Makkai 2004).In Indigenous communities, 'family violence' is often the preferred term as it encapsulates the broader issue of violence within extended families (Stanley, Tomison & Pocock 2003).Domestic violence is not limited to physical violence and involves a range of different forms of abuse. Definitions of domestic violence commonly include reference to: While most people consider domestic violence to be comprised of physical and sexual assaults, there is evidence that fewer people regard social, psychological and financial abuse as constituting domestic violence (Vic Health 2009).Injuries from assault committed by a spouse have been found to be more severe than injuries resulting from non-spousal assault (Borooah & Mangan 2006).The period during a relationship breakdown and separation is a particularly risky time for domestic violence between ex-partners (Flood & Fergus 2008).
Findings from victimisation surveys suggest that women are more likely than men to become victims of domestic violence, but that domestic violence can occur in a range of different relationship types, circumstances and settings.Understanding the complex interaction of attitudes, motives and situational factors underlying offender behaviour is helpful in developing effective prevention strategies.This summary paper provides a brief overview of this area of research.In contrast, some research has found the rates of violence perpetrated by men and women against their partners to be of similar size (Headey, Scott & de Vaus 1999).That domestic violence is committed equally by males and females is a view shared by some sections of the community, particularly males.
It is widely accepted that domestic violence is more commonly perpetrated by males and that women are more likely to suffer physical harm at the hands of their partner (Taft, Hegarty & Flood 2001; Tomison 2000).