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  • Zoe

Story Pitch

Domestic violence is a major public health problem in Australia and worldwide. Domestic violence is characterised by the physical or psychological dominate or harm of an individual by a family member, partner or ex-partner. Although we here in Australia live in a first world country, reports from NSW Rape Crisis Centre show the rate of violence against women in Australia is not that much lower than the rates in developing countries (Willis, 2013).

The Coronavirus caused a national lockdown in 2020, varying in length depending on the state. Throughout the pandemic one in ten Australian women in a relationship experienced domestic violence and two thirds of women who experienced attacks prior to lockdown reported their attacks worsened throughout isolation (Galloway, 2020). An article published by The Guardian in 2020 reported a surge in domestic violence internationally. Particularly alarming figures reported a 50% increase in domestic violence in Brazil, 20% in Spain, 30% in Cyprus and 25% in the United Kingdom.

With a clear spike internationally and nationally, the final data journalism project will focus on the increase of domestic violence throughout 2020 and the particular affects COVID19 had on domestic violence survivors. Data will be gathered through a number of sources such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Mission Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network, the Department of Prosecutions and DV Connect.

Through interviews with ACT lawyers and prosecutors, AFP personnel, VICPOL personnel and online resources, the final project will tell a clear story regarding domestic violence within Australia and the increase of cases throughout the pandemic. The story will be presented through written word and graphs created using the discovered data from various sources. The unique aspect to this project is the focus on men, women and children who have been affected by domestic violence whilst in isolation. There are a number of stories conveying statistics of domestic violence, however, there are limited stories that include the statistics of men affected. By including data from these three demographics, the message that domestic violence affects everyone, not only women and children can be conveyed.


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