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Research focuses on reducing domestic-related homicide

Media Release

25 November 2009

A compilation of international research into domestic-related homicide has been released today by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) to coincide with White Ribbon Day - the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Domestic-related homicide: keynote papers from the 2008 international conference on homicide is a collection of research presented by international experts at the conference held by the AIC in Queensland in December 2008.

According to the Institute's National Homicide Monitoring Program, there were 266 victims of homicide in Australia in 2006/07, with 185 male and 81 female victims. Ten percent of all victims were children under the age of 15 and nearly all of them were killed by their parents.

Sixty five victims were killed by an intimate-partner and in 43 percent of these homicides there had been a domestic violence history with police.

In January 2008, the Australian Government provided funding of $500,000 to the AIC for the National Homicide Monitoring Program to conduct research on domestic-related homicides in order to inform future interventions to protect women and children from violence. The International Conference on Homicide formed part of this project.

AIC Director, Dr Adam Tomison, said the conference brought together experts to discuss the causes of domestic-related homicide, legislative reform, law enforcement, risk factors and the links between non-lethal and lethal violence.

"The Institute's Homicide Monitoring Program has focused on research into reducing the harm caused by domestic-related violence for many years," Dr Tomison said.

The report includes chapters on The Murder in Britain study, homicide followed by suicide in the Netherlands, intimate-partner homicide and familicide in Western Australia, homicide among remote-dwelling Australian Aboriginal people, a US study on risk factors for death when a woman is being abused, and the impact of public policy change on intimate partner violence in Canada

Domestic-related homicide: keynote papers from the 2008 international conference on homicide is available on the Australian Institute of Criminology website www.aic.gov.au

AIC media contact: Scott Kelleher. Telephone: 02 6260 9244; Mobile: 0418 159 525.