Family violence statistics

Quick link to latest Data summaries

percentageThis page will guide you to New Zealand family and sexual violence statistics, including:

You will also find information on how to access regional data or data on specific types of abuse. Finally there is further reading on understanding family violence data, indicators and statistics

At present, New Zealand does not have a data source dedicated to identifying and recording all forms of family violence in our communities. Researchers have conducted a number of population-based and smaller surveys that identify how many people have experienced family violence. However, there are no official family violence statistics collected on a regular basis. As such, policy makers, practitioners and researchers are required to make do with data that is collected for administrative purposes by government and non-government agencies. It is important to remember that:

"... although there are some useful administrative data sets in New Zealand, none could currently be considered a reliable source of data for monitoring trends in family violence in the community over time." (Gulliver & Fanslow, 2013, p.78)

Follow this link for international resources, which include surveys and reports about data collection from global organisations and specific countries. These provide an international context to the understanding of family violence statistics.

Family violence statistics at a glance

Snapshot of key data Data summary, June 2017

The Family Violence: It’s not OK campaign team has created these resources:

The true picture infographic poster - updated 2017, and
Statistics information page - updated 2017

The free infographic poster can be ordered from:

Māori family violence data at a glance:

Understanding family violence : Māori in New Zealand [Infographic] Te Puni Kōkiri, 2017

Pasifika family violence data at a glance: 

Research from Le Va - More information about the research will be made available in late 2018.

Understanding family violence [Infographic] Pasefika Proud, 2016

Please see the Data Summaries for more detailed information.

Data Summaries

Data Summaries are a collation of family violence statistics from government and non-government agencies and research studies compiled annually by the Clearinghouse. They include data from New Zealand Police, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Child, Youth and Family, Women’s Refuge, Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee and Family Violence Death Review Committee reports and population-based research.

The Data Summaries page provides links to current data on the following topics:

You will also find explanatory notes on the definitions used by the agencies collecting the data.

The information below is provided for those who need to access the primary sources for more specific information or would like to gain a greater understanding of family violence data, indicators and statistics. Please consult the data summaries first as these include key data from the material below.


Family Violence Death Review Committee reports

The Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC) provides one of the most comprehensive reviews of the circumstances involved with family violence deaths in New Zealand. Each report provides detail concerning the relationship between the victim and perpetrator of a family violence death, the type of family violence (child abuse, intimate partner violence, other), regional data, the method involved and the outcome of the death for the perpetrator for a given period of time. The first report was published in 2010. Reports are published annually.

The latest report provides an in-depth analysis of family violence homicides between 2009 and 2012.

Family Violence Death Review Committee: fifth annual report: January 2009 to December 2015. (FVDRC, 2017).

Follow this link to read all Family Violence Death Review Committee reports.

Other reports

Towards freedom from violence: New Zealand family violence statistics disaggregated by ethnicity. (Paulin, J., & Edgar, N. Office of Ethnic Affairs, 2013).
This report identifies the available data disaggregated by ethnicity and explains some of the issues involved with the collection of ethnic-specific data in New Zealand.

Family violence: statistics report. (Brown, M., Mayhew, P., Paulin, J., & Reilly, J. Families Commission, 2009).

Responding to sexual violence: attrition in the New Zealand criminal justice system. (Triggs, S., Mossman, E., Jordan, J. & Kingi, V. Ministry of Women’s Affairs, 2009).
The aim of this study was to assess attrition in relation to adult sexual violation cases – that is, what proportion and type of cases drop out at each stage of the criminal justice process.

Additional New Zealand and international reports (including for specific population groups) are available under Recommended reading - statistics.

Population-based research

Population-based research provides the most reliable source of prevalence data available and provides information about victims and perpetrators of family violence. Population-based data on family and sexual violence in New Zealand are found in these surveys and longitudinal studies.

The New Zealand Violence Against Women Study

This is the largest study of violence against women ever undertaken in New Zealand. It provides robust data on the prevalence and health consequences of violence. Conducted in 2003, the survey involved face-to-face interviews with 2,855 women from a random sample in the community. 

Find out more about the New Zealand Violence Against Women Study.

Findings are published in these journal articles.

Crime and Safety Surveys (NZCASS)

Findings from the 2014 New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey.

In 2009 the New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey documented people’s experiences of “confrontational crime”, where the offender was their partner or a person well-known to them. Confrontational crime includes assaults and threats to an individual or their personal property. It does not include psychological or economic abuse, such as insults or withholding household money.

This report is based on findings from NZCASS 2009. 

Confrontational crime in New Zealand: findings from the 2009 Crime and Safety Survey. (Ministry of Justice, 2011).

You can search the Clearinghouse library for New Zealand crime and safety surveys to find data from some of the earlier surveys.

Youth2000 Survey series

The first National Survey of the Health and Wellbeing of New Zealand Secondary School Students was conducted in 2001 by the Adolescent Health Research Group at the University of Auckland. The survey covered a wide range of health-related areas including witnessing violence in the home, experience of physical violence, antisocial behaviours, antisocial messaging and sexual abuse and coercion. The survey was repeated in 2007 and 2012. Findings on violence are included in these reports:

Youth '12 prevalence tables: the health and wellbeing of New Zealand secondary school students in 2012. (Clark, T.C., et al. Adolescent Health Research Group, University of Auckland, 2013).

Young people and violence: Youth '07. The health and wellbeing of secondary school students in New Zealand. (Fleming, T., et al. Adolescent Health Research Group, University of Auckland, 2009).

Violence and New Zealand young people: findings of Youth2000 - a national secondary school youth health and wellbeing survey. (Fleming, T., et al. Adolescent Health Research Group, University of Auckland, 2001).

Learn more about the surveys from the Adolescent Health Research Group website.

These New Zealand longitudinal studies which follow birth cohorts include data on child abuse and intimate partner violence.

Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS)

Search the Clearinghouse library for selected articles from the CHDS.

Learn more about the study from the CHDS website.

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (DMHDS)

Search the Clearinghouse library for selected articles and reports from the DMHDS.

Learn more about the study from the DMHDS website.

Pacific Islands Families Study (PIF Study)

Search the Clearinghouse library for selected articles from the PIF Study.

Regional data

This supplementary data was published with the 2017 data summaries

Regional data by Police district, June 2017 now provides access to Police offender and victim data through a number of interactive reports. Data will be updated in these reports on the last working day of every month. Please read the Clearinghouse news item about data on unique offenders and unique crime victims

Crime and justice data is available from Statistics New Zealand. This includes include the number of apprehensions and crimes recorded by the New Zealand Police, prosecutions and convictions in the criminal courts, the types of sentences imposed, and information on the number of people who are in prison or serving community-based sentences.

Additionally the Ministry of Justice Datalab allows you to build your own graphs of conviction data, access the Ministry of Justice’s research and evaluation publications and provides a contact point for more specific information.

For other data by region, follow these links, or contact:

The Official Information Act 1982 can be used to request specific information. Read:

Data on specific types of abuse

You can search using the quick topic search for Statistics, then refine by topic (on left-hand menu) to find relevant publications in the Clearinghouse library.

Understanding family violence data, indicators and statistics

A number of papers have been published that describe the difficulties associated with the collection and collation of family and sexual violence statistics at a national level. These are listed below:

Family violence indicators: can administrative data sets be used to measure trends in family violence in New Zealand? (Gulliver, P., & Fanslow, J.L. SuPERU, a division of Families Commission, 2013).

Measurement of family violence at a population level: What might be needed to develop reliable and valid family violence indicators? Issues Paper 2. (Gulliver, P., & Fanslow, J.L. New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, University of Auckland, 2012). 

The scale and nature of family violence in New Zealand: a review and evaluation of knowledge. (Lievore, D., Mayhew, P., & Mossman, E. Victoria University of Wellington, Crime and Justice Research Centre, 2007).

More information

Please contact the Information Specialist for further assistance.

Image: iStock