Family violence that does not involve intimate partners: what do we know about it and how do we support victims

J. Putt*, R. Holder

1 School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, University of New England
2 Griffith Institute of Criminology, Griffith University

*corresponding author: jputt@une.edu.au

Released this year the review of domestic and family violence (DFV) deaths in the Australian Capital Territory included the recommendation that a working group identify appropriate service responses, referral pathways and gaps to respond to family violence that is not intimate partner violence (DVPC 2016). The review highlighted an issue that faces DFV services across Australia. Although many jurisdictions have broad legislative definitions for domestic and family violence, our services and system responses are essentially focused on intimate partner violence. This is understandable given that the majority of incidents and clients are recorded by services as being victims of intimate partner violence. However, a significant minority of victims’ experience other forms of DFV, as demonstrated by 10 years of national DFV homicide data (Cussen and Bryant 2015). The paper will present some data from an evaluation of the Alice Springs Integrated Response to DFV project, which underlines how ‘invisible’ family violence is because of the system and service focus on intimate partner violence. The paper will conclude by posing questions about how we can better respond to and support victims of the multiple forms of family violence, whilst not taking away from efforts to continue to improve and consolidate our responses to intimate partner violence.

Biography

Dr Putt has recently completed a major research project funded by the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) on Indigenous women and women’s family and domestic violence services. Last year she was part of the team that completed the evaluation of the Alice Springs Integrated Response to Family and Domestic Violence project.  With post-graduate degrees in anthropology and criminology, Dr Putt has undertaken and published research on a wide range of subjects, including violence against women, missing persons, crime in the fishing industry, people trafficking, and substance misuse.

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