Domestic Violence Biggest Health Risk for Australian Women

Friday, July 23 2010

Increased Investment in Prevention Programmes is Needed Domestic violence has become the single biggest health risk for Australian women aged 15 to 44, according to a study released this week. The report by independent think-tank, Access Economics, found violence against women by their male partners was causing high rates of injury, depression, eating disorders, drug abuse and early death.

"If you measured the impacts of domestic violence as a risk factor for other conditions like suicide, femicide, depression, anxiety disorders, cervical cancer as well as other smoking-related illnesses, because there is an increased propensity to smoke, you'd actually find that domestic violence is the largest risk factor for health for women aged 15 to 44," said health analyst Lynne Pezzullo.

Access Economics estimated the overall cost of domestic violence against women to Australia's economy to be in the region of US$6.3 billion a year, and that increased investment in prevention programmes would be money well spent. Donna Chung, a consultant with Partnerships Against Domestic Violence who has been involved in government studies into the problem, said the research highlighted a lack of counselling and support programmes for abused women: "We still don't have enough services in terms of responding to the number of women who are seeking help and counselling, both in crisis but also in the medium to long-term."

Agence France-Presse reported in Push Journal 22/Mar/05 SOURCE: Push Journal, 22/Mar/05


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