National data needed on domestic violence-related homicides
Graphic: Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins
Australia urgently needs a comprehensive national evidence base to address the tragedy of domestic violence homicides.
Australia urgently needs a comprehensive national evidence base to address the tragedy of domestic violence homicides, according to Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins.
Commissioner Jenkins told a national conference on violence against women and children that Australia is a world leader in terms of data collection in relation to gender-based violence.
However, she said there was a significant gap in collecting information about domestic violence-related homicides.
"While Coroners operate in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, these jurisdictions do not have established entities to collect death review data on all domestic and family violence deaths," Commissioner Kate Jenkins said.
"It is therefore not possible to compare deaths Australia wide," she said.
"Behind each homicide is a personal story of tragedy and loss. Examining these deaths collectively, as well as the factors and system failures which precede them, can teach us important lessons."
It is critical that we learn the painful lessons arising from past tragedy in order to prevent avoidable deaths in the future.
Commissioner Jenkins said the Australian Human Rights Commission has been working with death review teams and conducting research to determine the best way of approaching a national system of death review.
"It is clear that national data and reporting are key to providing law and policy makers with the information they need to better target services and interventions," she said.
"We must have a national evidence base on which to base actions to address domestic violence homicides.
"It is critical that we learn the painful lessons arising from past tragedy in order to prevent avoidable deaths in the future."
Date: 17 May 2018
- Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins - Australian Human Rights Commission