Policing repeat domestic violence: Would focused deterrence work in Australia?


Focused deterrence approaches to domestic violence have been developed in the US to increase offender accountability and ensure appropriately targeted responses to victims.While innovative, the model has strong theoretical and empirical foundations. It is based on a set of fundamental principles and detailed analysis of domestic violence patterns and responses.This paper uses recent Australian research to explore the feasibility of adapting this model to an Australian context. Arguments in favour of the model, and possible barriers to implementation, are described.Based on an extensive body of Australian research on patterns of domestic violence offending and reoffending, and in light of recent developments in responses to domestic violence, this paper recommends trialling focused deterrence and ‘pulling levers’ to reduce domestic violence reoffending in an Australian pilot site.