The scale of the problem and the impact that family violence has on the Australian community was
captured by a 2009 KPMG Management Consulting Report which estimated the cost of family
violence to the Australian economy to be $13.6 billion and projected to be $15.6 billion in 20202021.
The Report identifies some of the main costs that contribute to the economic impact of family
Pain, suffering and premature mortality;
the costs associated with pain and suffering attributable to violence and the cost of premature
mortality which was calculated by attributing a statistical value to years of life lost.
including private and public health costs associated with treating the effects of violence on the
victim, perpetrator and children.
including lost production (wages plus profit) through absenteeism, search and hiring costs, lost
unpaid work, retraining costs, lost productivity of victim, perpetrator, management, co-workers,
family and friends and permanent loss of labour capacity.
Consumption related costs
including costs associated with replacing damaged property, moving costs and settlement of bad
Second generation costs 26
including private and public health costs associated with childcare, changing schools,
counselling, child protection services, remedial/special education, increased future use of
government services, increased juvenile and adult crime.
Reliable estimates of the level of family violence in CALD communities as a distinct group are hard to
come by. The results of the limited research that has been conducted in this area are mixed, with
some studies indicating that women from CALD backgrounds experience higher levels of family
violence comparative to the general population and others indicating that CALD women experience
lower or similar levels of family violence to the general population.
KPMG Management Consulting, ‘The Cost of Violence Against Women and Their Children’ March 2009, 5-6 and 21.
O’Donnell CJ, Smith A & Madison JR 2002 ‘Using demographic risk factors to explain variations in the incidence of violence
against women’ Journal of Interpersonal Violence 17(12) 1239-1262 in Morgan, A & Chadwick H ‘Key Issues in Domestic
Violence’ Research in Practice Summary Paper No.7, December 2009, Australian Institute of Criminology, 5
Bassuk E, Dawson R & Huntington N 2006 ‘Intimate partner violence in extremely poor women: Longitudinal patterns and
risk markers’ Journal of Family Violence 21, 387-399; Mouzos J & Makkai T 2004 ‘Women’s experiences of male violence:
Findings from the Australian component of the international violence against women survey (IVAWS)’ Research & Public Policy
Series No.56, Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology