A new report has found that women are overwhelmingly the victims in fatal domestic violence cases, with the first three months after they leave their male partner the most dangerous.
Men killed women in 80% of domestic violence murders in Australia between 2010 and 2014, and about one in three killed a former partner.
A report, published on Thursday by the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network, found almost half of those homicides of former female partners occurred within three months of the relationship ending. According to the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre, women attempt to leave an abusive relationship on average between five and seven times before successfully and permanently doing so, and the time when a woman leaves her abusive partner is also when she is in most danger of being harmed.
The report found that almost a quarter of men (24%) who killed their current or former female partner were named as respondents in Domestic Violence Orders that were supposed to protect their victim.
“In some cases where a female homicide offender killed a male partner there was evidence that domestic violence went both ways prior to the fatal episode, meaning that the female offender had both abused and been victimised by the male she killed,” the report found. “In fewer cases, the male homicide offender killed a female partner in circumstances where he had been both victimised and abused by that female partner.”
Three men (2% of offenders) killed their male partner. There were no instances of a woman killing her female partner.