More than 2 million Australian women have been assaulted by a male partner in their lifetime and half a million say their children saw or heard the attack, according to a report by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety.
The chief research body for the prevention of violence against women and children analysed the experiences of both men and women who took part in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey.
Its report, to be released on Thursday, found that one in three women had been physically attacked in their lifetimes, and the attacks were most likely to have been in the women’s own homes.
Women were much more vulnerable to sexual crimes; one in five reported they had experienced sexual violence compared with one in 22 men.
“Violence is not something that happens to a small number of people,” the report’s author, Dr Peta Cox, said. “A large percentage of the population will experience violence at some time in their life and that can have ongoing affects.”
The analysis found 2.2 million women had been assaulted by a male partner. Women were most likely to be attacked by a man they lived with.
Nine out of ten attacks on women by their live-in male partners happened in their own homes.
The report found children were also affected by violence between adults in their homes, with 500,000 women reporting their children had seen or heard an assault and 400,000 women experiencing violence from their partner during a pregnancy.
At the time the survey was taken, almost 82,000 women reported wanting to leave a current violent partner but not doing so. One in 12 women indicated that one reason they returned to a violent partner was because they had nowhere to go.
Among the women who left abusive relationships, seven out of ten left property or assets behind in their final separation.
Two in five women reported continued attacks from a partner they had recently left.
Sexual violence affected 1.7 million Australian women during their lifetimes. In the year before the survey, 87,800 women were sexually assaulted, most likely by a man they knew.
ANROWS chief executive Heather Nancarrow said more attention was needed on sexual violence.
“There is a lot of focus on domestic violence or intimate partner violence and that’s where the community is engaged now,” she said.”That is one expression of gender-based violence. Sexual violence is another expression but it just doesn’t have the profile or the prominence as intimate partner violence.
“There are also some quite shocking figures about women’s experience of sexual violence beyond intimate partner violence but they don’t capture attention in the same way.”
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/millions-of-australian-women-have-been-assaulted-by-a-male-partner-anrows-report-20151021-gkehex#ixzz46VcAdXEY
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