Explanatory notes & definitions

This page contains all the relevant explanatory material and definitions of key terms used throughout the data dashboards and data tables. Use the following links to select the agency or data source you're interested in or download the PDF explanatory notes & definitions at the end of this page. 

Victorian Family Violence Database 

Purpose and use of the Victorian Family Violence Database

The Victorian Family Violence Database (the Database) is a repository for a range of different datasets relating to family violence clients and service use, extracted from the data holdings of a variety of government agencies. The Database has expanded since its inception to include a broader range of datasets, as more information has become available.

By collating these various datasets in one place, the Database enables complementary analysis of disparate datasets, which would otherwise be a challenging exercise.

While there are limitations, the Database provides a valid and useful picture of the demand for family violence related services recorded by responding agencies, and the trends and characteristics of those seeking help over time.

History of the Victorian Family Violence Database

The development of the Victorian Family Violence Database was initially funded in 2000 by Partnerships Against Domestic Violence, an Australian Government initiative. The database was conceived as a solution to the fragmented data collection often found across agencies with involvement in family violence, bringing together information collated from a range of sources to provide a single, statewide repository of data relating to family violence (Department of Justice & Regulation, 2012). In 2007, management of the Victorian Family Violence Database moved to the Victims Support Agency within the then Department of Justice.

Six previous iterations of the Victorian Family Violence Database have been produced and resulting reports published in five separate volumes. These volumes have been produced and published by the Victorian Community Council Against Violence (volumes 1 and 2) and the Department of Justice & Regulation’s Victims Support Agency (volumes 3, 4 and 5).

The last iteration was produced by the Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) on behalf of the Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV). In their findings, released in 2016, the RCFV recommended that the CSA undertake an update and redevelopment of the Database, and maintain the ongoing production of it. This report can be found in Volume VII of the report on the RCFV website: www.rcfv.com.au/Report-Recommendations

Challenges in collating the Database

All forms of administrative by-product data, used for statistical purposes, have limitations. In order for a record to be made in the recording systems of the various agencies, a referral, report or call must first be made to the responding agency. As a result, statistics held in this Database will not include all incidences of family violence that may be experienced within the community, but will only include those that are reported or recorded.

Identifying family violence records

Unless the service is solely dedicated to family violence cases, the data will usually require a flag or other variable to be recorded indicating that it does relate to family violence. For a variety of reasons, this may not be disclosed to the person making the record. The client may not be asked or relevant family violence information may not be recorded. This contributes to a potential undercount of family violence related events covered by the Database.

Data entry errors

Simple data entry error may create false positives and false negatives in the datasets, impacting upon the quality of the information in the Database. Some variables are also subject to high levels of missing or unknown data, which may impact on the ability to draw firm conclusions based upon the remaining completed data.

Using operational data for statistical purposes

The scope of data collected is often less than may be desirable or useful for research purposes, as the data is sourced from systems which have primarily been designed to meet business requirements, rather than statistical or research purposes. Additionally, as the Database contains data provided separately by each contributing agency, it is possible that individuals may appear in more than one dataset. Therefore, figures from different sources cannot be summed to create a total representative figure for the prevalence of family violence seen by service agencies in Victoria. It should also be noted that not all agencies in Victoria who respond to family violence victims or perpetrators are currently contributors to the Victorian Family Violence Database. The scope of the Database will continue to be evaluated and expanded on as data is made available.

Data relating to family violence, collected by the agencies contributing to the Database, is collated according to counting rules and classifications unique to each service. Details about each data source contained in the Database are provided in the sections below.

Data sources included in the current Database

The current Victorian Family Violence Database contains five years of data from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2016 and includes the following data sources;

  • Law Enforcement Assistance Program (Victoria Police)
  • Courtlink – Magistrates’ Court and Children’s Court (Court Services Victoria)
  • Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (Department of Health and Human Services)
  • Victorian Legal Aid
  • Victims Assistance Program and Victims of Crime helpline (Department of Justice and Regulation)
  • Integrated Reports and Information System (Department of Health and Human Services)

The findings include information on the number of clients of these agencies, their characteristics, services provided to clients, and trends in the data over time.

Comparisons over time

While the Victorian Family Violence Database has now covered a period of 15 years, it should be highlighted that the significant cultural, legislative, policy and operational changes that have occurred during that period of time can impact upon the data that is collected by different agencies. Where there have been significant changes to business or recording practices impacting upon major counts, these have been noted in the following explanatory notes and should be taken into account when drawing conclusions from the data.

In addition, there will have been a wide range of more subtle changes which may have impacted upon the comparability of data over time and which are less obvious or not as well documented. As such, it is recommended that readers keep this in mind when reviewing data over the period of the database (especially between data held in this publication and previous volumes produced from the database) and treat the time series with caution.

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Victoria Police 

Data source

The Victoria Police data included in the Family Violence Database (the Database) was extracted from the Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) on 18 January 2017. LEAP is a live database, and the data included in the Database is subject to change over time. The primary source of family violence data from Victoria Police is the information collected on the L17 Risk Assessment and Risk Management report.

Victoria Police are required to complete the L17 report after they have attended a family incident. It includes information on the incident itself, the affected family member and other party, hazards/risk factors present at the time of the incident and any actions taken by Victoria Police following the incident. The quantity and accuracy of the data collected by Victoria Police on family violence is dependent upon the recording of information by police members at the time of the incident.

Reference period

The data extracted from LEAP covers all family incidents and related offences recorded in the database from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2016. The date used to derive this reference period is the ‘create date’, a system generated date field that is set the first time a record is entered in LEAP.

Geographical classifications

For each family incident and related offence, the Local Government Area and related Police region of the incident/offence is recorded in LEAP. There are four Police regions; North West Metro, Southern Metro, Eastern and Western. All Victorian LGAs are grouped into these four regions based on the mapping outlined in the table under section ‘Police region to Local Government Area concordance’.

Calculating rates per 100,000 population

The rate of family incidents per 100,000 population is calculated using the count of family incidents recorded in a Local Government Area and the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) of that LGA. The rate is calculated using the following formula:

Family incident rate = (Number of Family incidents/ERP count) x 100,000

ERP figures for the Local Government Areas are based on populations provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The data is extracted from the release titled Regional Population Group (3218.0).

For more information about the ABS estimated resident population, please refer to the ABS website. (External link)

Using Victoria Police LEAP data for analysis

A family incident is an incident attended by Victoria Police where a Victoria Police Risk Assessment and Risk Management Report (also known as an L17 form) was completed.

A family incident can involve one or more affected family members and/or one or more other parties. For statistical purposes, these are counted as one incident but may appear multiple times in demographic counts.

The increase in the number of recorded family incidents in recent years has in part been due to improved recording of incidents. Since 2011, initiatives such as the Family Violence Code of Practice have been put in place by Victoria Police to improve the recording of family incidents, the individuals involved and the offences committed.

Demographic characteristics of affected family members and other parties

An ‘affected family member’ is the individual who is deemed to be affected by events occurring during the family incident. The other individual involved in a family incident is referred to as the ‘other party’. The other party could be a current partner, former partner or a family member.

Where more than one affected family member has been affected one other party within a family incident, they will be counted for each involvement. For example, where a family incident involves three affected family members and one other party, each affected family member will be counted separately, making a count of three. 

Where the other party is involved with multiple affected family members, they will be counted for each involvement. For example, where a family incident involves one affected family member and two other parties, each other party will be counted separately, making a count of two.

Where an individual is involved in multiple family incidents within the reference period they will be counted for each incident that they are involved in.

Relationship between affected family members and other parties

The relationship between the AFM and other party is from the perspective of the AFM. For example, in an incident where the AFM is the mother of the OTH, the relationship would be reported as 'Family'.

Terminology and abbreviations

Family incident

An incident attended by Victoria Police where a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Report (also known as an L17 form) was completed.

L17 form

An L17 form refers to the Victoria Police Risk Assessment and Management Report that Victoria Police are required to complete after they have attended a family incident. The report is completed when family incidents, interfamilial-related sexual offences, and child abuse are reported to police.

Affected family member (AFM)

An ‘affected family member’ is the individual who is deemed to be affected by events occurring during the family incident. Where an affected family member has been affected by more than one other party within a family incident, they will be counted for each involvement.

Other party (OTH)

The other individual involved in a family incident is referred to as the ‘other party’. The other party could be a current partner, former partner or a family member. Where the other party is involved with multiple affected family members, they will be counted for each involvement.

Offences related to a family incident

Offences relating to a family incident refer to those offences that have been linked to a family incident by Victoria Police.

Family Violence Safety Notice

Victoria Police can issue a Family Violence Safety Notice in order to immediately protect the affected family members before an intervention order is able to be heard in court.

Family Violence Intervention Order

Victoria Police can apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order for a person who is experiencing family violence.

Child present flag

A record which indicates whether one or more children were identified as having been present at the time of the incident.

Hazards/Risk Factors

The risk factors identified on the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Report are the evidence-based risk and vulnerability factors outlined in the Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence. There are three types of hazards, those relating to the AFM, those relating to the other party and those present in the relationship.

Alcohol use flag

Alcohol use flags refer to whether alcohol use was recorded as possible or definite for the AFM or other party during a family incident.

Drug use flag

Drug use flags refer to whether drug use was recorded as possible or definite for the AFM or other party during a family incident.

Recent separation

If the family incident involved current or former partners, this records whether the couple recently separated.

Escalation in severity

This measure records whether incidents between the parties have escalated over time.

Police region to Local Government Area Concordance

Eastern region

Western region

North West Metro region

Southern Metro region

Boroondara

Greater Geelong

Melbourne

Port Phillip

Manningham

Queenscliffe

Yarra

Stonnington

Monash

Surf Coast

Hobsons Bay

Bayside

Whitehorse

Colac-Otway

Maribyrnong

Glen Eira

Knox

Glenelg

Wyndham

Kingston

Maroondah

Southern Grampians

Brimbank

Cardinia

Yarra Ranges

Corangamite

Melton

Casey

Benalla

Moyne

Hume

Greater Dandenong

Mansfield

Warrnambool

Moonee Valley

Frankston

Murrindindi

Ballarat

Moreland

Mornington Peninsula

Mitchell

Pyrenees

Banyule

 

Strathbogie

Golden Plains

Darebin

Greater Shepparton

Hepburn

Nillumbik

Alpine

Moorabool

Whittlesea

Moira

Hindmarsh

 

Wangaratta

Horsham

Indigo

West Wimmera

Towong

Ararat

Wodonga

Northern Grampians

Bass Coast

Yarriambiack

South Gippsland

Greater Bendigo

Baw Baw

Campaspe

Latrobe

Central Goldfields

East Gippsland

Loddon

Wellington

Macedon Ranges

 

Mount Alexander

Mildura

Buloke

Gannawarra

Swan Hill

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Magistrates' and Children's Court (Courtlink) 

Data source

The Magistrates’ and Children’s Courts data included in this report was extracted from the Courtlink database. The data includes all finalised applications for Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO) in which the final hearing took place between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016. This includes original applications as well as applications for variation, extension and revocation.

The analysis of the courts data looks at the number of applications heard in the Magistrates’ and Children’s Courts, the affected family members (AFM) on the application and the person responding to the order. On each application there is one associated respondent however, there can be multiple affected family members.

The following diagram shows how the data for each application, respondent and affected family member is stored.

In the above scenario, an application for a Family Violence Intervention Order has been made against the Respondent. There are three Applicants/Affected family members applying for the FVIO. If the court grants the application then an intervention order is made, otherwise another outcome may be recorded.

Reference period

The data extracted from Courtlink covers finalised applications for Family Violence Intervention Orders recorded between the five years starting 1 July 2011 and ending the June 2016. This reference period is based on the date of the final hearing.

Geographical classifications

The residential postcode of the affected family member and respondent is recorded on the application for a Family Violence Intervention Order.

In order to identify and display the geographic areas where AFMs and respondents come from, the postcode data has been mapped to Local Government Area boundaries for the purposes of mapping and creating rates per 100,000 population.

The residential postcode has been mapped to the related Local Government Area using the Australian Bureau of Statistics Postcode 2011 to Local Government Area 2011 file in the catalogue 1270.0.55.006 – Australian Statistical Geography (ASGS): Correspondences, July 2011.

Calculating rates per 100,000 population

The rate of affected family members per 100,000 population is calculated using the count of AFMs on original applications in a Local Government Area and the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) of that LGA. The rate is calculated using the following formula:

Affected family member rate = (Number of AFMs/ERP count) x 100,000

ERP figures for the Local Government Areas are based on populations provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The data is extracted from the release titled Regional Population Group (3218.0).

For more information about the ABS estimated resident population, please refer to the ABS website. (External link)

Using the Courtlink data for analysis

Demographic information of affected family members and respondents

For the purposes of analysing the demographic characteristics of affected family members and respondents, the report focuses on those on original applications for family violence intervention orders. This ensures that affected family members and respondents are not double counted if subsequent applications for variation, extension or revocation were made.

Relationship between affected family members and respondents

The relationship between an affected family member and the related respondent is taken from the primary affected family member on an application. This means that where there are multiple affected family members on an application, the primary affected family member’s relationship with the respondent will be represented.

Terminology and abbreviations

Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO)

An application for a Family Violence Intervention Order is a civil matter between the parties on the application.

The purpose of a family violence intervention order is to:

  • ensure the safety of the affected family member; or
  • preserve any property of the affected family member; or
  • protect a child who has been subjected to family violence committed by the respondent.
Applicant/Affected Family Member (AFM)

An applicant or affected family member is the person/people who have applied for a family violence intervention order. There can be multiple affected family members on the one application.

Respondent

A respondent is the person responding to the application for a family violence intervention order. There is only one respondent on each application.

Type of application

An original application is the first application made against a respondent. Where an order has then been granted, applications to extend the intervention order, or vary the conditions on the order can be made. In addition, where an AFM wishes to revoke the order an application for revocation can be made to the court.

Outcome of application

Revoked - Where an order is made by a court on an application to revoke a previous order of the court. This order vacates the previous order.

Struck out - An application can be struck out if the Applicant does not attend Court on the hearing day, or if the Magistrate believes there is not enough evidence for the Intervention Order to be made.

Withdrawn - An application can also be withdrawn if the Applicant no longer wants to pursue it.

Dismissed - Where the Magistrate has dismissed the application for a Family Violence Intervention Order.

Reinstate - Where a respondent and affected family member have agreed to an undertaking, but the respondent subsequently breaks this undertaking, the affected family member can bring the application back before the court. This is known as a 'right of reinstatement'.

IVO made - Where the Magistrate has heard all the evidence presented to the Court and believes an order should be in place.

Complainant

The complainant on an application for a Family Violence Intervention Order is the person making the application for an intervention order.

Primary applicant

On applications where there is more than one AFM there is a flag to indicate which person is the primary applicant. For example, where there is a parent on an application with two children, the parent would be the primary applicant and children would be non-primary applicants.

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Victoria Legal Aid 

Data source

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) operates across the state and aims to assist Victorians by providing free legal information, services and education. The VLA data in the Family Violence Database (FVDB) includes records of services involving legal advice, duty lawyer services, minor work and grants of legal assistance where the primary matter was family violence related. In addition, all family violence legal help matters are included in the FVDB. The data produced for the FVDB includes individuals accessing these services either for an application for a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) or regarding a breach of a FVIO.

Each service records unique clients and the number of services provided to them, with the exception of the legal help service, which does not record unique clients. Over time a unique client can receive multiple services, and therefore there may be multiple records of one person in the VLA dataset. The diagram below provides an overview of the counting units for VLA services which capture unique clients, namely: legal advice, duty lawyer services, minor work and grants of legal assistance.

Reference period

The data received from VLA covers clients accessing legal advice, legal help, duty lawyer services, minor work and grants of legal assistance services between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016. The date for the reference period is derived either from the date of service provision (duty lawyer, legal help, legal advice and minor work) or the date when an approval on a grant of legal assistance application has been made.

Operational changes to the data

For information collected prior to August 2015, records do not indicate whether a client was an applicant/victim or a respondent/perpetrator. In August 2015, VLA created a matter type which identifies whether a client is an applicant or respondent. As the majority of records relevant to the current reference period were created prior to this date, outputs in the database will not contain information about applicant type. Future iterations of the database are expected to include this information.

Terminology and abbreviations

Information for the terminology below has been sourced from the VLA website.

FV

Family Violence

VLA

Victoria Legal Aid

Duty Lawyer

Duty lawyers help people who are at court for a hearing but do not have their own lawyer.

Legal Advice

Legal advice services include sessions over the telephone or face-to-face at Victoria Legal Aid offices or via outreach services. 

Minor Work

Minor work includes assistance and advice (including advocacy services) where there is a need for ongoing assistance and there is a tangible benefit for the client. (Source: Victoria Legal Aid Annual Report, 2013-14)

Legal Help

Legal help is a telephone service and the main entry point to VLA services. The service provides legal information, advice and referrals.

Grants of legal assistance

Grants of legal assistance are provided by the VLA to people who are experiencing a legal problem and meet the agency’s eligibility criteria.

Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO)

A FVIO is an order made under Victorian law to protect a family member from family violence. Family Violence can include emotional, financial, physical and sexual abuse.  FVIOs include conditions to stop a respondent from using abusive behaviour against the protected person. If a respondent breaks conditions of an intervention order, the police can charge them with a criminal offence. Both perpetrators and applicants can access VLA services in the process of a FVIO application.

Affected family member/protected person

The person that the intervention order will protect is called the affected family member or the protected person.

Respondent/perpetrator

The person the intervention order is made against is called the respondent.

Breach of a FVIO

A breach of a FVIO takes place when the perpetrator/respondent breaks the conditions of an intervention order. In this case, the police can charge them with a criminal offence. Persons charged can decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty and should have a lawyer for the court hearing. Both the protected person and the respondent can access VLA services after a FVIO has been breached.

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Integrated Reports and Information System Aid 

Data source

The family violence measures produced from the Family Violence Database (FVDB) are derived from administrative information recorded by agencies that are funded by DHHS to provide Women and Children’s Family Violence Services and Men’s Behaviour Change Programs. The information is input by the agencies that are providing the services, and de-identified data is extracted from the IRIS database by DHHS and provided to the Crime Statistics Agency for input into the FVDB.

As the IRIS database is a live operational data system and updated regularly, the data presented reflects only the information in the database at the date and time of extraction. This means that as additional annual years of data are released by the CSA, the data relating to previous periods may change as data are updated in IRIS, and as cases progress and are completed by agencies.

Scope and coverage

The scope of the data presented in the data tables and visualisation cover all cases and related clients accessing either a Men’s Behaviour Change Program or Women and Children’s Family Violence Service. For the purpose of these outputs, clients who have come through the Men’s Referral Service have been excluded.

The data presented is not representative of all family violence intervention efforts undertaken by DHHS as there are other services provided that are not currently within the scope of the Family Violence Database.

Counting methodology

Cases recorded

Cases are a record of an agency having received a referral for a client to participate in a Men’s Behaviour Change Program (MBCP) or receive service under the Women and Children’s Family Violence services (W&CFVS). Each record is therefore a count of a unique referral for service received by an agency concerning a client.

Previous reporting completed for the Royal Commission into Family Violence used a different counting method when describing MBCP and W&CFVS cases. In the report for the Royal Commission, cases were only counted if they had a recorded family violence related issue. In the current report, all cases are counted as family violence related regardless of recorded issues. In addition, all cases assigned to the ‘Men’s Referral Service’ have been excluded in this report, as this service is not related to the MBCP and W&CFVS. As a result, numbers in the current report will not be comparable to data published in the Royal Commission report.

Date of referral

Case records are compiled on the basis of the date that the matter was referred to an agency for service. Date of referral is used to derive the financial year in which the matter was referred, and only cases which fall into the relevant reference period are used.

Program type

Each case is broadly classified as either ‘Men’s Behaviour Change Program’ (MBCP) or ‘Women and Children’s Family Violence Services’ (WCFVS). As program type is not recorded in the IRIS database, program type is derived using the client’s recorded age and sex at the date of referral. Cases with adult male clients are classified in the MBCP and cases with women or children clients are classified as WCFVS. Where age or sex information is insufficient to determine program type, cases may additionally be classified based on the recorded funding source (‘DHS – Men’s Behaviour Change Program’ or ‘DHS – Women and Children’s Family Violence Services’). Where cases are unable to be determined based on these variables, program type is listed as unknown.

It should be noted that the present method of deriving program type is vulnerable to some instances of misclassification. For example, if a client’s date of birth is incorrectly recorded, a young male child may have a case classified in the Men’s Behaviour Change Program. Additionally, this system does not account for situations where discretion may have been exercised. For example if a 17 year old male was referred to an agency to attend a MBCP, because of his age at referral his case will be classified under the WCFVS program.

Unique clients

A unique client is defined as an individual who has had one or more cases recorded in the IRIS database within the relevant reference period. One unique client may have more than one case during the reference period, but will have a count of 1 in the data presented concerning unique clients.

Unique individuals are identified using a unique identifier (‘STATSLINKAGE’) which is automatically generated based on a client’s recorded name, sex and birth date upon the creation of a client record in the IRIS database. The Family Violence Database does not receive identifiable information concerning clients of these services, however the STATSLINKAGE variable can be used to recognize clients who have received service at multiple agencies for cases under IRIS reporting.

Date of referral

Unique clients are compiled on the basis of the date that their first case was referred to an agency in the IRIS database within the reference period. The date may not be the actual first date of service for a client, as records only extend as far back as the reference period.

Program type

As unique individuals may have several cases across the IRIS database, program type is derived by summarizing the cases that a client has had over the reference period. Many clients are found to have cases associated with only one program type, so this is listed as their program type. Some individuals may be associated with both programs however it should be noted that due to limitations discussed above with deriving program type, some of these individuals may have been classified in both programs by error. If a client has a case with a named program and a case where the program is unknown, the client is listed as program type unknown.

Definitions

Men’s Behaviour Change Program (MBCP)

A DHHS funded program which is offered for adult males to address behaviour problems affecting intimate or familial relationships. 

Women and Children’s Family Violence Services (WCFVS)

DHHS funded services available for women and children impacted by family violence, including counselling and support groups.

Agency

An organisation who offers one of the above DHHS funded programs or services. An agency is responsible for creating the records contained in the IRIS database.

Integrated Reports and Information System (IRIS)

IRIS is a database used to record and describe all clients and cases referred to an agency for the MBCP or a WCFVS. Records are recorded and stored locally within an agency, and de-identified information is extracted to DHHS on a quarterly basis.

Case

Represents a referral made for a client to receive service from an agency under the MBCP or WCFVS. A client may have several cases over the reference period at multiple agencies.

Client

Represents an individual attached to a case. Statistics concerning clients may refer to characteristics of the clients attached to all of the cases recorded in the IRIS database, or it may refer only to unique clients who appear over the reference period.

Issue

Represents all noted concerns relevant to a case that an agency is hoping to address over the course of the case. Examples of issues include family violence issues, financial issues, and substance abuse issues. Recorded issues are used to flag which cases are related to family violence.

Local Government Areas in Victoria by DHHS Regions

DHHS Region

Local Government Area

   Barwon South West

Colac-Otway

Corangamite

Glenelg

Greater Geelong

Moyne

Queenscliffe

Southern Grampians

Surf Coast

Warrnambool

   Gippsland

Bass Coast

Baw Baw

East Gippsland

Latrobe

South Gippsland

Wellington

   Grampians

Ararat

Ballarat

Golden Plains

Hepburn

Hindmarsh

Horsham

Moorabool

Northern Grampians

Pyrenees

West Wimmera

Yarriambiack

   Hume

Alpine

Benalla

Greater Shepparton

Indigo

Mansfield

Mitchell

Moira

Murrindindi

Strathbogie

Towong

Wangaratta

Wondonga

 

   Loddon Mallee

Buloke

Campaspe

Central Goldfields

Gannawarra

Greater Bendigo

Loddon

Macedon Ranges

Mildura

Mount Alexander

Swan Hill

Eastern Metropolitan

Boroondara

Knox

Manningham

Maroondah

Monash

Whitehorse

Yarra Ranges

   Northern Metropolitan

Banyule

Darebin

Hume

Moreland

Nillumbik

Whittlesea

Yarra

   Southern Metropolitan

Bayside

Cardinia

Casey

Frankston

Glen Eira

Greater Dandenong

Kingston

Mornington Peninsula

Port Phillip

Stonnington

   Western Metropolitan

Brimbank

Hobsons Bay

Maribyrnong

Melbourne

Melton

Moonee Valley

Wyndham

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Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset 

Data source

The Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD) contains information detailing presentations at Victorian public hospitals with designated Emergency Departments. For the purposes of this report, patients presenting for family violence reasons are identified by the ‘human intent’ data item. 

At the Emergency Department, the clinician assesses the most likely human intent. Patients presenting for family violence reasons are those that presented with a human intent injury of 'Maltreatment, assault by domestic partner' or 'Child neglect/maltreatment by parent or guardian'. The VEMD information published under the Family Violence Database (FVDB) focuses on the demographic characteristics as well as the nature and cause of their injuries of the patients presenting for family violence reasons. The FVDB only reports on family violence (FV) related patients (as indicated by the human intent data item). Therefore, when there is a reference in the FVDB to 'patients', this only includes family violence related patients presenting to a public hospital in Victoria.

The counting unit for the VEMD is the patient presenting at a Victorian public hospital. In the dataset there is one record per patient. However, persons can present multiple times at the emergency department and thus have multiple records in the VEMD.

Reference period

The data extracted from the VEMD covers patients presenting at a Victorian public hospital and departing between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016.

Geographical classifications

The residential postcode of patient is recorded for every Emergency Department presentation; this is the postcode in which the person usually resides (not postal address).

In order to identify and display the geographic areas where patients reside, postcode data has been converted to Local Government Area boundaries for the purposes of mapping and creating rates per 100,000 population. The correspondence of postcodes to LGAs is based on the ABS data cube 1270.0.55.006 – Australian Statistical Geography Standard, July 2011.

The rate of family violence related patients per 100,000 population is calculated using the count of patients residing in a Local Government Area and the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) of that LGA. The ERPs are sourced from the ABS dataset 3218.0 – Regional Population growth, Australia, 2015-16. The rate per 100,000 is calculated using the following formula:

VEMD FV patient rate = (Number of patients/ERP count) x 100,000

For more information about the ABS estimated resident population, please refer to the ABS website. (External link)

Other classifications

Country of birth as collected by the VEMD is converted to world regions as specified in the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (Australian Bureau of Statistics) to avoid small numbers and issues of confidentiality.

For more information about the ABS estimated resident population, please refer to the ABS website. (External link)

Terminology and abbreviations

FV

Family Violence

VEMD

Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset

Type of accommodation of usual residence of patients

'Usual' is defined as the type of accommodation the person has lived in for the most amount of time over the past three months prior to presentation. If a person stays in a particular place of accommodation for four or more days a week over the period, that place of accommodation would be the person's type of usual accommodation. In practice, receiving an answer strictly in accordance with the above definition may be difficult to achieve. The place the person perceives as their usual accommodation will often prove to be the best approximation.

Cause of injury

Event, circumstances or condition associated with the occurrence of injury, poisoning or adverse effect.

Type of visit

The reason the patient presented to the Emergency Department.

Urgency of visit

Classification according to urgency of need for medical and nursing care, using the National Triage Scale. The Triage Category is to be allocated by an experienced registered nurse or medical practitioner.

Main injury

The patho-physical nature of the injury primarily responsible for the patient’s presentation at the Emergency Department.

Body region

The region of the body where the injury was sustained.

Referred to VEMD by

Source from which patient was referred to this Emergency Department.

Place where the injury occurred

The specific physical location of the person at the time the injury occurred.

Activity when injured

The type of activity being undertaken by the person, at the moment the injury occurred.

Bed requested

Records whether a bed was requested for the patient from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014. This data item was replaced in 2014 by the data item ‘Clinical Decision to Admit’.

Referred to

The agency to which the patient was referred for continuing care.

Departure status

Patient destination or status on departure from the Emergency Department.

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Victims Assistance Program 

Data source

The family violence measures produced from the Family Violence Database are derived from administrative by-product information collected by the community based Victims Assistance Program which is funded by the Victims Support Agency within the Department of Justice and Regulation.

Counting methodology

Unique individuals

Each record represents a unique client who has received at least one funded service from the Victims Assistance Program over the reference period. Therefore, each record within a financial year is a count of how many unique clients presented, and not a count of how many services were provided that year.

Financial year

Records are compiled on the basis of the date that a client was first recorded seeking a service. Therefore, financial year refers to the financial year in which a unique client first sought access to a service from the VAP.

Family violence indicator

In the VAP record management system case workers can flag a client record with a family violence indicator to denote that a client is seeking supports in response to family violence. This indicator is used to identify clients who were victims of family violence.

Definitions

Victims Assistance Program

The state wide Victims Assistance Program provides practical support and a range of therapeutic interventions for eligible victims of crime via a flexible case management model. The VAP service model is funded by DJR to support victims of crime against the person. DJR procures these services on fixed term agreements with non-government agencies.

Crimes against person

Includes offences and related offences of homicide, assault/s, aggravated burglary, sexual offences, abduction, robbery and armed robbery, blackmail, stalking/harassment, culpable driving offences and dangerous/negligent driving offences causing serious injury.

Family Violence client

A client who has been flagged with an indicator to denote whether they are seeking assistance in response to a family violence matter.

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Victims of Crime Helpline 

Data source

The family violence measures produced from the Family Violence Database are derived from administrative by-product information recorded by the Helpline, which is operated by the Victims Support Agency within the Department of Justice and Regulation.

As the Helpline data is stored in a live operational data system and is updated frequently, the data presented reflects only the information in the database at the date and time of extraction. This means that as additional annual years of data are released by the CSA, the data relating to previous periods may change as data is updated.

Scope and coverage

The Victims of Crime Helpline is a free telephone service that provides information, advice and referrals to help victims manage and recover from the effects of crime.

The service assists a broad range of people from the Victorian public, regardless of whether a crime has been reported to police. The scope and coverage of the data, however, is not representative of all individuals in Victoria who have sought assistance in response to family violence. A victim will only be included in this dataset if they have sought assistance from the Helpline.

Male victims of family violence are referred to the Victims of Crime Helpline by law enforcement and community agencies, while female victims are mostly referred to DHHS funded family violence services As a result, males are highly represented as victims of family violence in the Helpline data.

Counting methodology

Telephone calls and e-referrals to the Helpline

Each record in the Helpline data represents one phone call or e-referral received by a Helpline Victim Support Officer within the relevant reference period. Therefore, measures produced from this dataset are a count of the number of calls and e-referrals that were received by the Helpline and not a count of how many unique individuals sought assistance. Helpline data received by the CSA for analysis is not currently suitable to count unique victims of family violence.

Due to system enhancements and changes in data recording procedures, and the introduction of a dedicated state wide family violence L17 e-referral pathway by police, the financial year 2013-14 shows a sharp increase in records. Prior to 2013-14, only cases being referred to the Victims Assistance Program were recorded in the data management system and the Helpline did not receive L17 e-referrals directly from police or state wide. As of financial year 2013-14, all incoming Helpline calls and e-referrals are recorded. Therefore, this increase therefore does not reflect an increase in the number of calls received by the Helpline.

It should be noted that male victims of family violence are referred electronically (via the L17 portal) to the Victims of Crime Helpline by police, and women and children are mostly referred via the L17 pathway to the Department of Health and Human Service family violence services.

Financial Year

Records are compiled on the basis of the date that an individual called for service. Therefore, financial year refers to the financial year in which a phone call was made to the Helpline.

Family violence indicator

In the Helpline’s record management system, Victims Support Officers can flag a record with a family violence indicator to denote that a caller is telephoning regarding a family violence incident. This indicator is used to identify calls from victims of family violence.

Definitions

Victims Assistance Program

The Victims Assistance Program provides practical support and a range of therapeutic interventions for eligible victims of crime via a flexible case management model. The VAP service model is funded by DJR to support victims of crime against the person. DJR procures these services on fixed term agreements with non-government agencies.

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Author
Crime Statistics Agency, 2017
Publisher
Crime Statistics Agency, 2017
Date of Publication

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