One woman a week and one man a month are killed by a current or former partner.
One in six women aged 15 or over has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner, while three in four victims of domestic violence report the perpetrator as male.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released its first comprehensive report on family, domestic and sexual violence on Wednesday, which reinforced the amount of work still needed to address the issue.
The report said women were more likely to experience violence from someone they knew in their own home, while men were more likely to experience violence from strangers in a public place.
Groups at a greater risk of violence included Indigenous women, young women, pregnant women and those exposed to violence as children.
Also highlighted was the substantial financial impact, with violence against women and children estimated to cost $22 billion in 2015–16.
Women’s Health Grampians chief executive officer and Integrated Family Violence Committee chair Marianne Hendron said the sobering national data corresponded with what was seen at a local level, but felt Victoria was in a good position as a result of its royal commission into family violence.
She said by focusing on not just the prevalence but also the impacts of violence such as homelessness, the report could help guide strategies, services and early intervention programs.
“It’s good the report is going behind the statistics to explore the impacts,” Ms Hendron said. “That informs us in terms of service delivery, we need to focus on children, the extent of homelessness and hospitalisations.”
For Ms Hendron, the report reinforced the gendered nature of domestic violence and the need to work towards a culture change which addressed gender and equality.
But she said it did show the Grampians Region’s grassroots initiatives through the Communities of Respect and Equality Alliance were on the right track.
With a lot of family violence and sexual abuse still going unreported, Ms Hendron said it would take a united effort from the government and community before the numbers decreased.
“Regardless of the data that still has to be uncovered to show the extent (of the violence), we are confident we have enough data to know what the drivers of violence are and the conditions that lead to violence,” she said.
“And by working to address those we can start to lower that prevalence.”