Shine a light on violence against women
Day 2 - Who is at risk?
Domestic violence doesn't discriminate. The International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS) found that education, labour force status or household income varies little when it came to experiencing violence.
"No matter how nice your house is, no matter how intelligent you are." Rosie Batty
However there are some groups of women who are at greater risk of domestic violence. These include;
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
Indigenous Australians experience violence at rates that are double – or more – than those experienced by non-Indigenous people.
One in four Indigenous people reported that family violence was a neighbourhood/community problem, with this number nearly double in remote areas.
50% of Indigenous hospitalisations for assaults were as a consequence of family violence.
- Women with disabilities
Women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence, and for more extended periods of time. Women with disability were 37.3% more likely than women without disability to report experiencing some form of intimate partner violence (1).
Women with disabilities are vulnerable to violence due to situations of social and cultural disadvantage and increased dependence. Poverty, low education and low employment can perpetuate these power imbalances.
- Women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
Women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are vulnerable to violence. For some women, they originate from cultures where domestic violence and sexual assault are tolerated and where there is strong cultural opposition against separation and divorce.
In addition, these women can face barriers in seeking assistance such as;
- Limited understanding of English
- Lack of family and community support
- Difficulties accessing legal and support services
- Being unaware of their rights and laws.
Some women may fear that reporting violence will compromise their future residency in Australia or their entitlement to programs and services, particularly for women on temporary or spouse visas.
- Women in rural and remote areas
Women living in rural and remote areas experience greater risk factors to experiencing domestic violence, such as attitudes accepting violence and gender inequality, low education and witnessing violence between parents.
In a study of domestic assaults reported to police in NSW, 19 out of the top 20 areas for domestic violence were rural or regional areas.
Women in rural and remote areas may find it harder to leave a violent relationship, or to seek help due to access to services, perceived lack of confidentiality and anonymity, stigma and lack of transport.
Tomorrow we shine a light on ... the myths of violence against women
(1) National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, 2009
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