The criminal career trajectories of domestic violence offenders

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Abstract

This study examines the officially recorded criminal careers of 2,076 domestic violence offenders and 9,925 non-domestic violence offenders in New South Wales in the 10 years following their first police proceeding.

Group-based trajectory modelling was used to examine both domestic violence and non-domestic violence offending. Special attention is given to the degree of versatility in offending, and to the interplay of domestic violence and non-domestic violence offending trajectories.

Domestic violence offending often formed part of a broader pattern of offending. While trajectories of low‑frequency domestic violence and non-domestic violence offending were most common, domestic violence typically increases as non-domestic violence offences begin to decline. Importantly, there was variability in the offending profiles of domestic violence offenders. This was amplified when non-domestic violence offending was analysed, indicative of a complex array of underlying risk factors.