Measurement of family violence at a population level

cover-image Issues Paper 2, June 2012

Authors: Pauline Gulliver, PhD and Associate Professor Janet Fanslow, PhD



This Issues Paper reviews some of the available sources of data on family violence, assesses strengths and limitations of these data sources for measuring trends in family violence, and seeks to assist the reader to develop an understanding of the issues associated with family violence data collections.

Government agencies, non-government organisations and researchers all require reliable measures of family violence to understand the magnitude of the problem, to appropriately target resources, and to identify strategies that are effective in reducing and ultimately eliminating family violence.

In this paper we: Draw attention to the data that is currently available in New Zealand;

  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of this data in relation to monitoring trends in family violence at the population level;
  • Highlight opportunities for further development of existing datasets, drawing on the experiences of other developed countries;
  • Consider some of the implications for reporting family violence data at the national level; and
  • Suggest some future courses of action which could support the development of reliable and valid family violence indicators.

Recommended citation

Gulliver, P., Fanslow, J. (2012). Measurement of family violence at a population level: What might be needed to develop reliable and valid family violence indicators? Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, The University of Auckland.

ISSN: 2253-3222, published online only

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