Data confirms rise in female murder victims

Police tape at crime scene with police car. | Newsreel
Crime data shows an increase in the number of women murdered by partners. | Photo: Stringer image (iStock)

The latest crime data has confirmed what thousands have been protesting about – the number of women being murdered by partners is on the rise.

As rallies are held around the country to support the victims of domestic and family violence, the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has released the latest homicide statistics, which show the rate of females murdered by partners has increased by almost 30 percent in the past year.

The National Homicide Monitoring Program data includes both the Homicide in Australia 2021–22 and Homicide in Australia 2022–23 reports.

AIC Deputy Director Dr Rick Brown said that female intimate partner homicides (IPH) increased by 28 percent across both reporting periods.

“The findings of the report confirm through state and territory police offence records and coronial records that female IPH increased from 0.25 homicides per 100,000 in 2021–22, to 0.32 per 100,000 in 2022–23,” Dr Brown said.

“The figures in this latest report provide an important baseline to measure progress towards achieving the national targets outlined in the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032, to reduce female IPH by 25 per cent per year over five years,” Dr Brown said.

The Homicide in Australia 2022–23 report showed there were 232 homicide incidents recorded by Australian state and territory police between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, which included 247 victims and 260 offenders.

Dr Brown said that the 2022–23 homicide incident rate in Australia of 0.87 per 100,000 was 4 percent higher than the previous year, however, it still represented a 52 percent reduction in homicide incidents since the program began in 1989‒90.

“Sixty-nine per cent of homicide victims in 2022–23 were male, with a homicide victimisation rate of 7.65 per 100,000 for Indigenous males compared with 1.04 per 100,000 for non-Indigenous males. The homicide victimisation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females was 3.07 per 100,000, compared with 0.45 per 100,000 for non-Indigenous females,” Dr Brown said.

He said in 2022‒23, 16 percent of homicide incidents were intimate partner IPH and 89 percent of these were perpetrated against a female victim aged 18 years or over.

The latest Homicide in Australia reports can be found on the AIC website.