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Results

More than 850 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in November.  Around four‑fifths of survey respondents (78%) identified as female (figure 1).

As was the case for last month’s survey, more females than males responded in every age group (figure 1).  More than eighty-five per cent (87%) of survey respondents were aged between 20‑59 years, with the highest number of responses collected for women aged between 30-39 years (inclusive).

The demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

Survey respondents were asked their views on six principles that are associated with restorative justice.  A significant majority of male and female survey respondents thought that the victim suffered most when a crime was committed (70%), followed by the family and friends of the perpetrator (20%) and the family and friends of the victim (6%).  Almost no survey respondents considered that the perpetrator suffered the most when a crime is committed (see figure 2).

Both male and female survey respondents reported that victim support was the most important response to crime (48%).  Men (15%) were more likely than women (7%) to report that punishment was an important response to crime (see figure 3).

Survey respondents placed high importance on the perpetrator knowing how they felt if a crime was committed against them.  Women (77%) were more likely than men (68%) to report that it was very important or important that the perpetrator knows how they feel when a crime was committed against them (see figure 4).

Just under half of survey respondents (46%) reported that it was important for them to have an opportunity to meet face to face with the perpetrator if a crime was committed against them.  A further 42 per cent of women and men thought that it was neither important nor unimportant.

Three‑quarters of women (76%) and men (71%) reported that prison was not the most appropriate way to punish criminals, regardless of what crime they committed, with just under 70 per cent of survey respondents disagreeing that prison was rehabilitative.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites