Exploring Dual-system Involvement for Domestic Violence Victimisation and Child Maltreatment Perpetration: An Exploration by Gender and Race/ethnicity

Dr Brigitte Gilbert1, Professor Anna Stewart1, Dr Emily Hurren1, Dr Simon Little1, & Dr Troy Allard1

1School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University

There is an historical separation between system responses to domestic violence (DV) and child maltreatment. Concerns have been noted that victims of DV may be over-represented as parents responsible for harm to children in the child protection system. This study aims to longitudinally examine the overlap of appearing as a victim of DV and a perpetrator of child maltreatment, along with the impact of dual-system involvement on the nature and frequency of the violence experienced. The data are linked longitudinal administrative data from the Queensland Cross-sector Research Collaboration (QCRC) repository. These data contain each contact every individual born in Queensland in 1983 or 1984 had with the Queensland DV civil court system and the Queensland statutory child protection system. Of individuals identified as a perpetrator of child maltreatment, 45% have also been a victim of DV and approximately 22% of DV victims were identified as a perpetrator of child maltreatment. Our results also show differences in this relationship based on Indigenous status, gender, parental status, number of substantiations, frequency of violence, harm type, and number of domestic violence orders. The implications of this study for both policy and practice are discussed.

Key words: Domestic Violence, Child Maltreatment, exposure to domestic violence


Dr Brigitte Gilbert is a recent PhD graduate from the school of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. Her thesis, ‘Overlapping Violence: Understanding the Complex Relationship among Domestic Violence, Child Maltreatment and Criminal Offending’, utilised longitudinal, population-based, linked administrative data to understand the cumulative experience of individuals who have been involved with domestic and family violence (as a victim and/or perpetrator), child maltreatment (as a victim and/or person responsible), and general criminal offending. She is passionate about contributing to research that informs both practice and policy regarding domestic and family violence.


Dec 10 2021