People affected by domestic or family violence or abuse
Domestic violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health in Australian women aged 15-44. On average one women is killed very week by her partner. It is also the principle cause of homelessness for women and their children.
Research has found that domestic violence and abuse reverberates in all areas of the victim’s life: work, housing, physical and mental health, and social activity. For example:
- Three quarters of victims do not continue in the same workplace following separation from the perpetrator.
- On leaving the violent situation, one third of victims depend on family and friends for immediate accommodation and other support.
- Almost half of victims are diagnosed with a mental illness either during or after the violence has occurred.
- All forms of social activity decrease significantly while the victim is experiencing violence or abuse.
Domestic and family violence also negatively impacts our children. One in four Australian children are exposed to domestic or family violence or abuse. This exposure has serious negatively impacts even if the child does not directly witness the violence. For example, children that have been exposed to violence are more likely to display aggressive behaviour, experience anxiety, have reduced social skills, suffer symptoms of depression, show emotional distress and encounter learning difficulties. Children exposed to violence in the home are also at an increased risk of going on to commit or experience violence.
White Ribbon www.whiteribbon.org.au