Men Kill Women In 80 Percent Of Domestic Violence Deaths

152 domestic violence deaths around Australia between 2010 and 2014

Women killed by current or former partners made up 80 percent of domestic violence deaths between 2010 and 2014, the first report from a national family violence network has detailed.

The Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network, established in 2011, released its first data report on Thursday. The report looked at intimate partner homicides in domestic violence settings between 2010 and 2014, and found of the 152 deaths in that period, four in five involved a man killing his former or current partner.

There were 121 deaths where a man killed a female partner, 28 where a woman killed a man, and three recorded deaths with a man killing a male partner. In 92 percent of cases of a male killing a female, the male offender was the primary domestic violence abuser of the women killed.

In 23 cases of a man killing a female partner, the relationship had been maintained for just a year.

In the majority of the 20 percent of cases where a woman killed her former or current partner, she had been the "primary domestic violence victim" in that relationship.

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Of the 152 deaths, at least 107 children under the age of 18 were left behind after the incident involving one or both of one or both of their parents.

Broken down by state, NSW had the most domestic violence deaths between 2010-14 with 53 deaths, or 35 percent of the total number. Queensland was next with 31, then Victoria (26), Northern Territory (14), Western Australia (12), South Australia (10), Tasmania (four) and the ACT (two).

Men were more likely to kill a current partner, with 63.6 percent of male-committed homicides coming against a current partner, and 36.4 percent against a former partner. Of the women who were killed by a former partner, half came within three months of that relationship ending.

When a man killed a female partner, 44.6 percent of those deaths came while the relationship was ongoing; 19 percent when the relationship was ongoing but with an indication of separation; and 36.4 percent after the relationship had ended.

Male offenders used a sharp weapon in 31 percent of cases, and no weapon in 17 percent of cases; suffocation or strangulation was the cause of death in 15.7 percent of deaths, firearms in 11.6 percent of cases, and a blunt weapon in 7.4 percent of cases.

Nearly half of men and half of women who killed a partner had consumed alcohol at the time of the death.

“The Network aims to enhance our understanding of domestic violence homicide in Australia and to contribute to intervention and prevention efforts in this space,” manager of the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team, Anna Butler, said in a statement.

The report said nearly half of men who killed a female partner received a murder conviction, while one-fifth of men died by suicide after the homicide. The most common outcome for a woman who killed a partner was a manslaughter conviction, in 71 percent of cases.

The report also looked at how domestic violence orders related to homicides. One in four women who killed their male partner were protected under an order naming that man, while four men -- 14 percent of men who were killed -- were protected under orders naming that woman.

For the full report, click here.

For help or information about domestic or family violence, contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.