Background Family and domestic violence, encompassing diverse behaviours including physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse, is endemic worldwide and has multiple adverse health and social consequences. Principal drivers include traditional gender values that disempower women. Changing these is a key prevention strategy. In Australia, high-quality national surveys provide data on public perspectives concerning family and domestic violence but may not capture community-level diversity. As part of a project for primary prevention family and domestic violence in outer regional Australia, our aims were to develop and administer a questionnaire-based survey suitable for the local community encompassing knowledge about, attitudes towards, and personal experiences of family and domestic violence, to describe and to investigate the theoretical (factor) structure and local socio-demographic predictors of responses, and to determine the extent to which the survey findings are locally distinctive. Methods The online community survey for local residents (≥15 years), comprised items on respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics plus questions abridged from pre-existing national instruments on knowledge about, attitudes towards, and personal experiences of family and domestic violence. Responses were rake-weighted to correct census-ascertained sample imbalance and investigated using exploratory factor analysis, with sociodemographic predictors determined using multiple linear regression and dominance analysis. Results Among 914 respondents, males (27.0%), those from age-group extremes, and less-educated persons were underrepresented. Familiarity with diverse family and domestic violence behaviours was high among all subgroups. Poorer knowledge of the FDV behaviour continuum and attitudes supporting traditional gender roles and FDV were disproportionately evident among males, older respondents and those with lower education levels. Both the factor structure of extracted composite measures reflecting community perspectives and sociodemographic predictors of responses generally aligned with patterns evident in national data. Conclusions Local reinforcement of existing nationwide findings on community understanding of and attitudes towards family and domestic violence provides salience for targeted interventions.