THERE is no single reason why people commit violent acts against people they are supposed to love, including children.
But there are strong predictors, says the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia.
The strongest predictors of attitudes supporting violence against women are people - note, men and women - having a low level of support for gender equality, and a low level of understanding of behaviours that are associated with violence against women.
People who tend to hold prejudicial attitudes towards others, based on attributes they describe as "different", or those who have a high level of support for violence in general, are also more likely to have attitudes supporting violence against women, said the AIHW report.
It should be confronting to Australians that while total violence in the community has decreased significantly over the past two decades, family and domestic violence has remained stable.
There is no doubt a majority of Australians are horrified when they read, hear or see reports of family violence deaths. But the figures can be numbing.
Using data obtained from a variety of sources and from across the country, the institute established that every nine days a woman is killed in Australia by a partner or former partner. Every 29 days an Australian man is killed under the same circumstances.
One of the saddest sets of figures from the institute report relates to children. Between 2000 and 2012 there were 284 children killed by a parent or parent-equivalent. Nearly half were killed by their custodial mother. The incidence of family or domestic violence in this country is substantial, and the impact on society is significant.
Around 2.5 million Australian adults experienced physical and/or sexual abuse before the age of 15, with a parent most often the perpetrator of physical abuse and someone known to the child the perpetrator of sexual abuse.
Children witness violence, and of all people seeking specialist homelessness services in 2017-18, about 26,500, or 22 per cent, were younger than nine years old.
These are the numbers we can't turn away from. This is a part of Australia we can't deny. Turning things around will take more than words.