Closing the Gap

Families and households are safe

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Families and households are safe

Outcome

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and households are safe.

Target

A significant and sustained reduction in violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children towards zero.

Summary on Target

This target reflects the aspirations of the Partnership on Closing the Gap to reduce violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children.

The National Agreement includes a commitment to give further consideration to this target within three months of signing the Agreement. This will include consideration of the definition of family violence, and work to identify measures and data sources that will allow monitoring and assessing progress against the target. This recognises that nationally consistent and robust data, needed to understand baselines and derive trajectories, is not currently available.

Information on violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children is derived from a mix of surveys and administrative data collections. These data sources vary widely in definitions used, data items collected and reference time periods, and are not easily comparable.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) 2018-19 included a module on women’s experiences of physical violence. However, due to methodological differences, this data is strictly not comparable to other Australian Bureau of Statistics data sources including the social surveys (general and Indigenous specific). This means only a single data point is available on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s experiences of physical violence.

There is no population level data on violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children because most population surveys focus on adult experience.

Administrative data collections provide some insights into violence against women and children. For example, most of the information on violence against children is based on the child protection system data. Other administrative data collections, such as criminal justice systems, and hospital and mortality databases, can also provide information on the prevalence and extent of violence against women and children. While these data sources are limited to reported cases, they also show different patterns of Indigenous identification.