Social issues

Domestic violence surge in WA

According to recent findings WA is Australia’s domestic violence hotspot, with nearly two thirds of all assaults being committed the partner or relative of the victim.

The latest report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that 64 percent of assaults in Western Australia are related to domestic violence.

Over the last decade the number of reported assaults has increased by more than 100 percent.

In 2016 alone, the Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded a 12 percent increase in reported cases of family violence, following a 23 percent rise in 2015.

Based on available data, it is clear that the victims of domestic violence are predominantly female.

One in six women experience physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former domestic partner, with an average of 52 sexual assaults against women recorded daily.

One in sixteen men also experience physical and/or sexual assault by a member of their domestic household.

Testifying to the upward trend, the report shows that 2,800 women and 560 men were hospitalised in 2014 and 2015 as a result of domestic violence-related incidences.

Whilst domestic violence affects all socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds, young, pregnant, and Indigenous women were found to be most at risk.

The financial and social cost of domestic violence is clear, with 115,000 people forced to seek out homelessness services in 2016-17.

Further, the latest report only reveals the extent of domestic violence known to police.

The Chief Executive of the Women’s Council Angela Hartwig said “[The] reports represent only around 20 percent of what’s going on out there.”

Despite the state government pledging $21.7 million to fund domestic violence services, Ms Hartwig believes that more could be done to provide long-term solutions and support for victims to remain in their homes.

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