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Wednesday
Dec022009

Report dispels link between domestic violence and murder

It is a myth that most domestic murderers are known to authorities, with 74 per cent of them having no contact with police for violent incidents in the year before they kill and 48 per cent no contact for five years prior. Even fewer victims - only 10 per cent - were involved in a recorded incident of domestic violence with their eventual killer in the year before their death, a Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report says.

The bureau's director, Dr Don Weatherburn, said the findings made it difficult for authorities to prevent murders in the home, which are the most common killings in Australia. "The policy problem for government is whether to raise the protection standard for all victims of domestic violence or raise protection for a specific sub-group. I've got my doubts about the effectiveness of the latter approach."

The report also suggests that recent powers given to the NSW coroner to investigate all domestic violence-related deaths could be fruitless.

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