Young people as perpetrators of domestic and family violence in NSW: Offenders, victims and context.

Ms Karen Freeman1

1NSW Bureau Of Crime Statistics And Research, Sydney, Australia

There is an extensive body of criminological research examining the offending behaviour of young people; their characteristics, offending trajectories and the nature of their offending. Likewise, an extensive body of work has examined the nature of domestic and family violence (DFV), including characteristics of victims and offenders, associated risk factors, and criminal justice responses. However, relatively little research has been undertaken on the area where these two subjects intersect: juvenile perpetrators of DFV.  The study fills this gap by examining a cohort of 1,055 young people aged 10 to 17 years proceeded against by NSW Police for a domestic assault. The study addresses the following questions:

  • What do we know about juvenile DFV assault offenders?
  • What do we know about the seriousness of juvenile DFV assault offending and their re-re-offending?
  • How does the NSW criminal justice system respond to juvenile DFV assault offenders?
  • What do we know about the victims of juvenile DFV assault ?
  • What do we know about the nature of juvenile DFV assault incidents and the contexts in which they occur?

A better understanding of this form of offending by young people will enable policy makers and service providers to develop appropriate and informed responses to these offenders and their victims.

PCO Note: Please note that this presentation will form part of the juvenile DFV concurrent session.


Karen’s has worked extensively in social policy and justice research in a range of areas including program evaluation, illicit drug use and crime, young people in the criminal justice system, and the effects of victimisation on mental health. She is currently the Principal Program Evaluator, Domestic Violence, with NSW Bureau of Crime Statistic and Research.