Who reports domestic violence to police? A review of the evidence


The police play an important role in the management of immediate harm and risk associated with domestic violence. However, the hidden nature of domestic violence incidents means that the involvement of police is dependent on a report being made. Set against the backdrop of increasing levels of reporting of domestic violence in Australia, the current study analysed 21 Australian and international quantitative studies of victim self-report data to identify factors associated with victim reporting of domestic violence to police. The analysis found that victims who are female, non-white, experiencing frequent violence and who have been abused in the past are more likely to report. Incidents that involve serious violence, an intoxicated offender and/or child witnesses are also more likely to be reported to the police.