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Women leading domestic violence survey

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016

A domestic violence poll will be exempt from sex discrimination laws so it can exclusively hire female researchers.

About 50 women will interview more than 20,000 adults across the country this year and next for the Australian Bureau of Statistics' personal safety survey.

In asking for the exemption, the bureau cited expert advice indicating that both men and women were more likely to open up about sensitive topics with female interviewers.

But victims of female violence can request a male interviewer or answer particular questions online.

Some male ABS employees opposed the exemption, with seven out of 10 submissions to the Australian Human Rights Commission arguing that it was inappropriate to make gender-based assumptions about the suitability or professionalism of researchers.

Several men also said they had extensive training and experience in interviewing domestic violence and sex assault victims.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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