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Indicator: Decrease family violence deaths

Family violence, in particular intimate partner violence, contributes to more death, disability and illness in adult women than any other preventable risk factor.1

The Coroners Court of Victoria identifies how many homicides each year are related to family violence.

It is difficult to assess changes in the number of family violence homicides over time, in part due to the small number of incidents. There may be large fluctuations over time that are not significant.

The lag between when a homicide is reported to the register and when an investigation concludes (and thus identifies whether a homicide was related to family violence) further limits our ability to assess change. For 2019–20 and 2020–21 data, the higher number of ‘unknowns’ reflects this lag.

Noting the above limitations, data from 2020–21 does not indicate that the number of family violence homicides is decreasing. In 2020–21, 25 homicides related to family violence were reported to the VHR, with a further 19 yet to be determined whether they are related to family violence.

This number of family violence homicides is the highest reported since 2015–16.

Number of family violence-related homicides by financial year – 2015-16 to 2020-21

Number of homicide deceased 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Family violence related 33 24 21 15 21 25
Not family violence related 38 31 37 31 37 19
Other ≤ 3 7 4 9 23 19

Source: Coroners Court of Victoria data extracted from the Victorian Homicide Register (VHR) by the Crime Statistics Agency

  • Source

    Data in this measure is from Coroners Court of Victoria data extracted from the Victorian Homicide Register (VHR) by the Crime Statistics Agency.


    Numerator - Homicides reported to the Coroners Court of Victoria, indicating where homicides were family violence related.

    Denominator – Number of total reported homicides.

    Time period

    Data captures six financial years, 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 through to 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

    Data details

    A family violence related homicide is defined as one which occurred in circumstances where there was a familial relationship between the homicide offender and the homicide victim, as defined by the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic.), whether or not there was an identified history of family violence prior to the homicide. This may include current or former intimate partners or kinship relationships as defined by the Victorian Indigenous Family Violence Taskforce (2003).

    Data quality and caveats


    Full / Partial / Proxy / Ideal

    Full data.


1Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018, Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018, <…External Link ;.

Reviewed 14 April 2022

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