Many studies have shown that people who are abused in family relationships are “more likely to experience low self esteem, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and post traumatic stress disorder” (Doherty, 2002). “People who experience family violence are at greater risk of mental health disorders and problems. Moreover, their general health and wellbeing are likely to be affected in both the short and long term. They may be injured, maimed or neglected. They may adopt negative coping techniques that contribute to or worsen medical conditions” (Doherty, 2002).
Children suffer when exposed to family violence, irrespective of whether they are witnesses of parental abuse or direct victims of abuse. In a survey of children living with family violence, Laing (2000) found that children are more aware of the situation than what is perceived by their carers. “Violence affects children’s views of the world and of themselves, their ideas about the meaning and purpose of life, their expectations for future happiness, and their moral development” (Laing, 2000).
The Victoria Police's Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) database stores particulars of all crimes brought to the notice of police. The database is updated constantly. A copy is downloaded each night for use by various areas of the Victoria Police to produce crime statistics and conduct data analysis. Financial year data are obtained from a version downloaded in mid-July. As the database is updated constantly, data may be different when compared with that obtained from a more recent version of the LEAP database.
Recorded Incidents of Family Violence: expressed as a rate per 100,000 population. The ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) at the start of the financial year is used. The latest available ERP series is used to produce the rate, so the rate published on the CIV website may differ slightly to that previously published by Victoria Police.
Since the introduction of the Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence in late 2004, reporting of family violence incidents has increased. Victims of family violence are gaining more confidence to tell someone what has happened and to receive help.
Laing, D (2000). Children, young people and domestic violence. Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearing House. Issue paper 2.