Understanding family violence 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).

These papers describe the difficulties associated with the collection and collation of family and sexual violence statistics at a national level:

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). 

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 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).