There are now more experts, consultants, practitioners, activists, bureaucrats, and academics working on domestic violence in Australia than ever before. It seems we have never known so much about domestic violence and never before have we done so much about it. Yet domestic violence remains impervious to expert “knowing,” as the extent of such violence in Australian society is impossible to measure and attempts to curb it are resistant to surveys for “success.” Nonetheless, although we may not be able to measure domestic violence or responses to it, it is possible to at least trace the ways domestic violence has impacted Australian society and the ways society has sought to address it. Today there is a rich and developing body of research on domestic violence in Australia: Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s Australian feminists have been contributing to new ways of understanding, investigating, and preventing domestic violence.
The Partnerships Against Domestic Violence task force carried out the most comprehensive recent study of perceptions of domestic violence in Australia. Partnerships Against Domestic Violence is a Commonwealth Government Initiative that has received over $50 million in funding over three years. In 2000 the group published Awareness of Domestic and Family Violence in the Diverse Australian Community.1 The study involved consultations with more than 280 people from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds utilizing a mix of focus group discussions, in-depth interviews,