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Survey Results Analysis

More than 2,100 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in January.  Around three-quarters of survey respondents identified as female, with more females than males responding in every age group (see figure below).  More than 90 per cent of survey respondents were aged between 20‑59 years, while almost 43 per cent of respondents comprised women aged between 30-49 years (inclusive).

As for previous surveys, the demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the groups of people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

There was a high degree of agreement to the survey questions, with 84-98 per cent of respondents agreeing that they considered the six identified behaviours to be acts of domestic violence.  However, in five of the six questions, women were more likely to indicate that they thought the behaviour was an act of domestic violence than men (see figure below).

Just over 90 per cent of men and women agreed that a single act of hitting, slapping, punching, pushing or shoving was domestic violence, while more women (94%) than men (91%) thought that controlling or limiting the contact your partner has with family, friends or colleagues was domestic violence.

Almost all women respondents (98%) reported that they considered verbal abuse, threatening to harm children, pets or property, and forced or unwanted sex to be acts of domestic violence.  Men also reported high levels of agreement to these three questions (94-96%), but at lower rates than women.

When asked whether controlling or limiting your partner’s finances or how they spend their money was an act of domestic violence, men and women were the least likely to agree.  While around 92% of women though financial abuse was domestic violence, only 84% of men agreed, the lowest level of agreement recorded for the six survey questions.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites