A spatial study of reported domestic violence in Brisbane: A social justice perspective

Di Bartolo, Lawrence Mario (2000). A spatial study of reported domestic violence in Brisbane: A social justice perspective M.A. Thesis, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, The University of Queensland.

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Author Di Bartolo, Lawrence Mario
Thesis Title A spatial study of reported domestic violence in Brisbane: A social justice perspective
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning and Architecture
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2000-11-03
Thesis type M.A. Thesis
Total pages 199
Language eng
Subjects 370200 Social Work
370204 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
Formatted abstract Domestic violence is increasingly being recognized as a major social problem in Australian society. An alarming number of homicides and serious physical injuries, especially to women, have been directly attributed to domestic violence. The main aim of this study was to examine the reported incidence of domestic violence for the city of Brisbane in Australia and compare these findings to those of previous research. Previous research both in Australia and overseas based on quantitative analysis of reported incidences of domestic violence show higher incidence rates of domestic violence among the most disadvantaged groups in society.

Data for this research came from two main sources. Calls made to police with regard to domestic violence incidents were one main source of data, while applications to courts for domestic violence protection orders provided the second major data source. Calls made to a domestic violence telephone service were also used in this research. A quantitative methodology was used in this study to ensure comparability of findings with previous research. This methodology also permitted a spatial analysis of the pattern of the incidence rate of reported domestic violence by Statistical Local Area or suburb for Brisbane. Such spatial analysis of the incidence rate of reported domestic violence is largely absent from previous domestic violence research. Data was also obtained for a number of measures of disadvantage. These measures included low income, unemployment, race, non-English speaking background, locational disadvantage and a measure of multiple disadvantages referred to as the SEIFA Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage. Correlation, regression and analysis of variance were the statistical methods used in this study.

The results of the statistical analysis of data largely confirmed the findings of previous research. Statistically significant correlations were found between the reported incidence of domestic violence and factors such as low income, unemployment and race. The SEIFA Index had the strongest correlation with reported domestic violence and emerged as a predictor of such violence. Geographic location in the outer suburbs of the city did not achieve statistical significance with regard to higher rates of reported incidences of domestic violence relative to other areas of the city.

The study concluded by stating that deep philosophical issues of social justice need to be placed along aside other explanations for the incidence patterns of reported domestic violence. This is particularly important given the repeated findings of higher incidence rates of reported domestic violence among the disadvantaged in society. Additionally, it was concluded that a measure of multiple disadvantage was a more accurate measure of relative disadvantage that individual indicators of disadvantage. Recommendations are made as to how the incidence and worst effects of domestic violence may be lessened and future areas of research were suggested.
Keyword Family violence -- Queensland -- Brisbane.
Family violence -- Philosophy.
Social justice -- Queensland -- Brisbane.
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