Fresh insight into Australia's family violence killings

One in five men who killed a current or former partner in Australia was on bail or parole at the time, research into sentencing judgements reveals.

The data from Monash University was released on Tuesday and compiled 10 years of judges' comments in the sentencing of 235 men convicted of murder or manslaughter across the country.

Sixty-eight per cent of the men had previous engagement with police while 65 per cent had a prior criminal conviction.

Almost one fifth, 18 per cent, were on protection orders at the time of the killing while another 19 per cent had previously been on orders.

Overall, 15 per cent of killers had past family violence convictions and 37 per cent had  been convicted of other crimes.

Family violence academic Kate Fitz-Gibbon led a team at Monash in collaboration with the University of Liverpool in the UK to produce the report Securing Women's Lives.

It detailed the need for risk assessment to be introduced to include the hazard posed by men already seen by the system.

This is compared to risk assessment typically being centred on threats faced by victim-survivors.

"This project builds current understandings of the potential points of intervention prior to the killing of women by their male intimate partners," the report read.

"In doing so, this project has contributed to building understanding of who perpetrates intimate femicide."

Federal MP Zoe Daniel praised the research and asked Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth and Treasurer Jim Chalmers to fund Professor Fitz-Gibbon's homicide index proposal.

"Important work...(the homicide index) will enable the interventions we need," she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Victorian MP Tim Richardson said the "really critical" research should prompt change.

"Thank you for all involved in this important work and the policy advocacy ahead of us all," he wrote on X.

One woman was killed every 11 days by a current or former partner in Australia between 2022 and 2023, with the rate estimated to have doubled in 2024 after a spate of high-profile deaths.

The Australian government offered $5000 in financial support for women escaping violent relationships as part of an almost $1 billion package in its 2024 budget.

But it has come under fire over a lack of funding for frontline domestic violence services in that same budget.

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