Northern Territory Council of Social Service

Domestic, Family & Sexual Violence

All people have the right to live a life free from violence. NTCOSS is a strong advocate for putting an end to all domestic, family and sexual violence in our communities and working to address the related social harms

Domestic, Family & Sexual Violence in the NT

NTCOSS advocates for and with the specialist domestic, family and sexual violence sector in the NT to improve safety, wellbeing, economic and social justice outcomes for women and their families.

Domestic and family violence is a gendered crime, with women and children disproportionately over-represented as victims. As reported by Our Watch, nationally on average one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner, and one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of fifteen.

The NT experiences the highest rates of domestic, family and sexual violence in Australia. On average there are 61 domestic and family violence incidents on a typical day and four domestic and family violence related homicides per 100,000 people per year. Reporting by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that Aboriginal women are particularly impacted by this form of gender based violence, accounting for 89 per cent of all domestic, family and sexual violence victims in the NT.

While particular sections of the community may be more vulnerable to domestic, family and sexual violence due to compounding factors, known as intersectionality, this form of violence does not discriminate. Women and girls around the world, regardless of income levels, experience additional disadvantages on the basis of age, income, ethnic or religious identity, geographic location, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability and immigration status (among a range of other factors).

Policy & Advocacy

In 2018 the NT Government released its ten year strategy to reduce domestic, family and sexual violence, the Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Reduction Framework 2018-2028; Safe, Respect and Free from Violence.

The Framework’s Action Plan 1: Changing Attitudes, Intervening Earlier and Responding Better 2018-2021 identifies key outcomes including an increased focus on prevention and early intervention; supporting the development and capacity building of a sustainable and responsive domestic, family and sexual violence service system; addressing sexual violence, including in the context of domestic and family violence; and supporting action-based and integrated service system responses.

In conjunction with Action Plan 1, the NT Government released the Northern Territory’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Framework 2020-2028, which includes prioritising the safety of women and children at the centre of all responses and places emphasis on long term cultural and social change. NT Government initiatives work in conjunction with Federal Government strategies, including the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

NTCOSS works in partnership with the specialist domestic, family and sexual violence sector, government and advocates to adequately resource the various recommendations. Better outcomes in this space are dependent on a true co-design model.

NTCOSS facilitates constructive communication and information sharing between the NT Government and the specialist domestic, family and sexual violence sector, to effectively feed into and influence policy development and public discourse. NTCOSS coordinates research and submissions on behalf of our members for legislative reform and advocacy purposes, and advocates for developing workforce capacity and addressing training and development needs across the NT.