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Men the often-unreported victims of family violence | The Age

The tragic death of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh early on Friday has shed a light on the often hidden spectre of men falling victim to family homicide.

While women and girls are more likely to die in domestic disputes, males are the victims in 40 per cent of homicides involving family members, according to a 10-year study by the Australian Institute of Criminology released in May.

Police were called to Mr Walsh's Adelaide home, about 2am on Friday, where he was found with stab wounds. Despite paramedics' efforts, he died at the scene. Police have charged his son with murder.

Women are overwhelmingly more likely than men to die at the hands of their partners, and were the victim in 75 per cent of recorded "intimate partner homicides" between 2002 and 2012.

This is the traditional face of domestic violence.

But when all forms of domestic-related violence are taken into account, that traditional picture is dramatically changed.

Men were more likely to be the victim in parricide (at the hands of their child), accounting for 54 per cent of victims between 2002 and 2012. They were far more likely than women to be killed by a sibling (accounting for 80 per cent of victims), and by extended family members (accounting for 70 per cent of victims). Boys were also marginally more likely to die at the hands of a parent (56 per cent).

In general, men are more likely than women to be both the offender and the victim in domestic and non-domestic homicides.

The only exception is filicide, or the killing of one's children, in which women are marginally more likely (52 per cent of the time) to be the killers.

AIC research officer Willow Bryant said while women were vastly over-represented as victims of domestic violence, the research showed that family violence was a complex area.

"We were hoping with the paper to dispel some of the misconceptions around the most extreme form of family violence, which is obviously family homicide," she said.

For help in a crisis call 000. For help or information regarding domestic violence call the Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au The Men's Referral Service 1300 766 491.

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