CANBERRA, AU – Over twenty percent of adults in Australia have been victims of partner abuse or physical assault, with women disproportionately affected, representing a quarter of this statistic.
This trend follows the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ new revelation that nearly three million Australian adults were subjected to abuse during their childhood.
The ABS’ recent findings illuminate the prevalent issue of domestic and sexual violence within communities. According to their report, an estimated 2.7 million women and 1.5 million men have suffered violence or abuse from a partner. The disparity is particularly pronounced in the rates of violence against women compared to men.
17% of women have been physically assaulted by their partner, a rate thrice that of their male counterparts. Emotional abuse is reported by 23% of women and 14% of men, while economic abuse affects 16% of women and 7.8% of men.
An important note from the ABS links financial stress to heightened risks of violence and abuse, especially towards women. In households facing economic challenges, the likelihood of experiencing partner violence or abuse in the past two years is significantly higher compared to those without such financial concerns. Will Milne, heading the ABS crime and justice statistics, underscores this correlation.
Further, the ABS’ personal safety survey uncovered that 2.7 million adults endured abuse during their formative years, predominantly from known individuals. Around two million were abused by a family member, and approximately 380,000 suffered abuse in institutional settings.
The survey also reveals that of the women who experienced violence from a partner, close to 800,000 were pregnant at some point during the relationship. Shockingly, 42% of these women were attacked during their pregnancy, and 17% faced partner violence for the first time while expecting.
These statistics follow reports estimating that 28 women have been fatally harmed by a current or former male partner this year. Although intimate partner homicide rates vary annually, a gradual decrease has been noted over the past decade. However, indigenous women face significantly higher risks, including an eightfold increase in homicide rates due to partner violence.
Support is available for those affected by these issues or concerned about others at 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). In cases of immediate danger, contacting emergency services at 000 is advised.