Assessing relative rates of Indigenous family violence: Using existing quantitative data and a triangulation methodology to identify rural areas in greatest need of additional legal services


A research team recently completed an exercise to estimate relative rates of Indigenous Family Violence (IFV). The research was conducted on a national scale and utilised only quantitative information. This time-constrained data collation exercise, which was conducted over a seven-week period at the end of 2004, was undertaken for the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. It sought to ‘quantify’ the distribution of IFV at a small-area level, using a nationally standardised methodology. This reasonable aim proved to be extremely challenging given the current availability of Australian data on (domestic) violence and Indigenous victimisation. As a consequence, the result was the construction of ‘best possible’ estimates of IFV based on available data. In conjunction with some key-stakeholder qualitative data the findings of this exercise were used to construct a list of high priority locations where additional Family Violence Prevention Legal Service units could be optimally placed. This papersummarises the IFV issue, outlines the ‘triangulation’ methodology adopted, and discusses the issues raised by this exercise. (Introduction.)

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