Historical Trends in Queensland Domestic Violence Reporting

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Historical Trends in Queensland Domestic Violence Reporting Historical Trends in Queensland Domestic Violence Reporting Introduction A recent news article cited statistics that suggest domestic violence is increasing dramatically from year to year in West Australia (Pownall, 2012). In 2011, the police in West Australia responded to 39,297 domestic violence calls. This represents a 12.2% increase from the previous year and a 27.0% increase from 2009. Some of the factors blamed for this year to year increase were population growth, creation of domestic violence awareness campaigns, the economic downturn, and drug and alcohol abuse. The article by Pownall (2012) was based exclusively on crime statistics provided by the police. These statistics suggest domestic violence may be becoming more prevalent, but this may not be the case. For example, if the increase is due primarily to an influx of new residents to West Australia and the implementation of aggressive domestic violence awareness campaigns, then on a per capita basis, domestic violence may not be increasing. This essay will investigate whether the prevalence of domestic violence is increasing in Queensland, Australia by examining trends in reporting and survey data. Historical Perspective Information regarding the prevalence of domestic violence in Australia prior to passage of the Queensland Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Act (DV Act) in 1989 was limited to phone surveys and selected populations (Mugford,

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