Women and kids murder toll rises
MORE than six women and children are murdered in domestic violence attacks in Australia every month, according to new statistics to be released today.
Over two years, 99 women and 47 children were killed across the country, including 14 babies less than a year old.
The Australian Institute of Criminology’s Homicide in Australia report, which covers the years 2012-14, also reveals 21 cases where children murdered one of their parents.
More than 100 of the murderers had a history of domestic violence and 70 of them were mentally ill.
The rise in female murder victims associated with domestic violence — up from 83 in 2010-12 — bucks a trend that has seen the overall number of homicides falling during the past 25 years.
The report, to be released by Justice Minister Michael Keenan at the launch of the AIC’s Crime Statistics Australia website, shows the nation’s homicide rate is at an all-time low: one victim per 100,000 people.
The number of homicide victims and offenders has also decreased, by 25 per cent and 19 per cent respectively, over the same period.
However the proportion of domestic homicide incidents increased from 39 per cent of all homicides in 2010-12 to 41 per cent in 2012-14.
“Nearly two-thirds of these domestic homicide incidents were intimate partner homicides,” the report said. “The number of female intimate partner homicide victims increased from 83 in 2010-12 to 99 in 2013-14.” Even though the number of homicides is dropping, the number of deaths is still shocking, with 487 homicide incidents involving 512 victims in 2012-14.
“This data is vital to government and law enforcement agencies to guide policies that protect Australians and make our streets safer,” Mr Keenan said yesterday.
“This report shows that our plan is working.”
The report also revealed that stab wounds continue to be the most common cause of death for homicide victims (38 per cent), followed by being beaten to death (25 per cent).
Gunshot wounds accounted for the deaths of 73 of the 512 murder victims.
There were 22 murderers aged under 18, with the youngest being 14.
Illegal drug use preceded 161 of the 487 homicides, up by 12 per cent from the 2010-12 reporting period. Males remain over-represented as both victims (64 per cent) and offenders (88 per cent).
Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of indigenous victims were killed in a domestic homicide event.
Forty-one per cent of indigenous murder victims were killed by an intimate partner, compared with 22 per cent of non-indigenous victims.
Minister Michael Keenan.