Impact of Family Violence on working with Women


Impact of Family Violence on working with Women

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Family domestic violence continues to be a major problem in Australia as it is in most parts of the world. Family domestic violence against women usually refers to the violence between family members especially in situations where the spouse or the man exercises power over his female partner or female family member since family domestic violence will also cover the extended family and the kinship relationship through which the violence could occur (Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018). I Australia, family domestic violence is often taken as being a subset of family violence and will often look at the violent Behavior between the previous or the current intimate partner.

Analysis on the role of gender inequality in Family Domestic Violence

According to various studies, family domestic violence has been broadly used to include violence between family members. Family domestic violence especially against women may include sexual violence which is a Behavior of sexual nature carried out against the personal will. It will also be perpetrated through the current or previous partner, including other known individuals or strangers (“Domestic violence and family law,” 2014). Such acts and behaviours are also known to exist within the family setting and may vary regarding intensity, duration and frequency (Isgandarova, 2018). For example, physical violence will include hits, slaps, punches, being pushed downstairs or across the room, burns and choking, use of firearms, knives among other weapons (Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018). When looking at sexual violence this can include actions such as sexual abuse, rape, unwanted sexual advances, intimidation at work or harassment; being forced to watch or to engage in sexual coercion, pornography, having sexual intercourse due to fear of what the partner might do, sexual trafficking and forced prostitution. There is also psychological and emotional abuse which often entails belittling, intimidation, humiliation, coercive control and the impacts of social, financial among other forms of physical abuse. Such types of violence are an umbrella of family domestic violence against women in Australia, where violence is often taken as an attempt to the act of violence or a threat to commit the act.

Role of gender inequality in Family Domestic Violence

According to the Australia Bureau statistics, younger women are more likely to experience family domestic violence including sexual violence than older women. According to the 2016 PSS, it reported experiences of sexual and physical violence in women within the 12 months before the survey (Carline & Dehaghani, 2018). When this was compared with women aged 35 and above, most women age 18-34 were like 3 times likely to experience sexual or physical violence from their intimate partners (117,000) 4.5% of women aged 18-34, as compared to 1.5% ( 96,000) women aged 35, that was 6 times as likely to undergo sexual violence (Humphreys, 2007). Also (4.3%) or 125,000 of women between 18-34 as compared to 0.7% (45,000) of women aged 35 and above reported the same. Also in 2017, it was reported by the police that more than 11,000 female sexual assault victims came from ages15-34 as compared to 3,800 female sexual assault victims of ages 35 and above (Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018). This shows that in most cases, younger women are more likely to be hospitalized for assault by their partner or will be more likely to undergo sexual harassment as compared to the general adult population.

In Australia also, the rate of family domestic violence and sexual violence has continued to remain stable in the past 15 years, where the total violence from any individual continue to significantly decline over the said period. Even with the stable population and survey rates, the number of people who continue to seek family protection services due to violence has continued to increase such as the hospital, police, child protection and homelessness. In the same manner, the number of sexual violence victims has continued to rise with 25,000 with 82% being women reporting sexual assault as recorded by the policy in 2017 which is 8% more than in 2016, making it the highest number since the initial collection of data by Australian bureau of statistics in 2010 (Carline & Dehaghani, 2018). Such statistics also include victims of family and domestic assaults. With these statistics, there are also more women being hospitalized because of family and domestic violence wherein 2017 there was 6300 reported hospitalization of adult aged 15 and above due to assault injuries and family domestic violence (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020). Studies also show that there was more than twice the number of hospitalizations as a cause of family and domestic violence against women. Women that were hospitalized for assault by their spouse reported having experienced this from their home. Of this, 67% accounted for bodily force, while others were treated for neck or head injuries at 63% (Domestic Violence Victoria, 2021).

Risk Factors and Prevalence of Family Domestic Violence

Family and domestic violence continue to present a lot of risk for women and children in Australia Most women that experience this type of violence run the highest risk of becoming homeless. According to studies, there were about 72,000 women and 34,000 children who sought homelessness services in Australia due to family domestic violence (“Domestic violence and family law,” 2014). Also, intimate partner violence presents a huge risk to the woman’s health where it can lead to an increased burden of disease, premature death, miscourages, impact of illnesses and disability than other risk factors for women between ages 24-44 (Communities and Justice, 2019). Also due to family domestic violence, these women suffer mental health conditions being one of the largest contributors to the existing burden because of the sexual/ physical intimate partner violence, especially for those suffering from anxiety disorders highly contributing to the proportion, followed by depressive disorder at 32% (Missionaustralia, 2021). With illness also comes the financial cost of violence against women and their children where it was estimated that in 2016 alone the country spent AUD 22 billion due to the consequences of family domestic violence (Carline & Dehaghani, 2018).

Cultural aspects are also a risk factor where the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, pregnant women, women experiencing homelessness and women with disability have been underrepresented when it comes to accountability of family domestic violence and this could add more to the cost to make it 26b AUD. There is a high prevalence of family domestic violence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women than non-indigenous Australian women (Communities and Justice, 2019). This makes it important to understand the needs of the communities as being both the cause and impact of the intergenerational trauma and social disadvantage. Studies show that in 2015 14% of indigenous women underwent physical violence, where 38% also reported their most recent incidents perpetrated by cohabiting partners. Also, there were 41% of homicide victims were killed by their current or past partners, which is twice the rate of non-indigenous Australians at 22% (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020). In the same manner, indigenous Australian women are more likely to be hospitalized due to family violence as compared to non-indigenous Australian women, which also leads to more children being likely to become the subject of substantiated child neglect or abuse.

Impact of Family Domestic Violence on Women

The impact of family domestic violence against women in Australia continues to be felt to date. One of the major impacts of family domestic violence against women is the burden of diseases and hospitalization caused by family domestic violence. In most case, family domestic violence against women will be presented in terms of sexual violence, physical violence and emotional abuse from the current partner or the cohabiting partners, or boyfriend or relative or a date (Isgandarova, 2018). The impact related to this risk fact is most estimated among women which is evident from various reports that identify the causally linked conditions and the amount of the increased levels of violence only available for women (Communities and Justice, 2019). Six common conditions have been linked to exposure to family domestic violence against women which includes; anxiety disorders, depressive disorder, alcohol and drug abuse, homicide and violence, early loss of pregnancy, self-inflicted injuries and suicide (Missionaustralia, 2021). Studies show that family domestic violence against women aged 15 and above contributed to 223 deaths in Australia in 2015 which included deaths related to homicide and violence, suicide, depressive and alcohol use disorders. Of this 1.6% of the burden of disease and injury was also reported (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020).

The victim’s mental health was also the largest contributors to this burden, where depressive disorder would contribute to the highest proportion at 43% followed by anxiety disorder at 30%. Also, partner violence contributed to being the third rank as the leading risk factors leading to disease challenges for both women aged 25-44 that were also behind the different cases of child neglect and abuse and drug abuse/addiction. There is also a burden for a hospital that provide healthcare services especially among those that have in one way or the other experienced assault (Agero & Frisancho, 2017). Statistics on hospitalized assault cases have also presented in this paper show adults aged 15 and above that were admitted to hospital due to injuries, sexual assault, physical assault or poor treatment. Since not all family violence assault or hospitalizations can be identified, in most cases family domestic violence would lead to hospitalization or death (Isgandarova, 2018). Studies show that of all domestic homicide victims, 55% were women of which 73% are victims of family domestic violence, where they were killed by an intimate partner (Communities and Justice, 2019). This is higher compared to men at 34% also killed by a domestic partner. Also, the victims of filicide include both adults and children where about 27% of all domestic homicide incidents were committed by a man in that family (Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018). Also reports from recorded crime, there is an increased report of victims of family domestic violence where it has also been documented by the policy. Such homicide-related offences have to include attempted murder, murder and manslaughter.


This report looked at the impact of family violence on working with women where it analyzed the prevalence, a review of the current framework and the impact. In summary, family domestic violence is one of the biggest health and welfare issue in Australia. The act of violence against women occurs across the social and economic demographics of the country, for which both indigenous and non-indigenous women and their children remain the biggest victims. The law and anti-violence agencies need to come up with a long-lasting impact to reduce the impact on individual health, wellbeing, relationships, deaths and ensure that these groups are educated and empowered to reverse the trends.



Agero,J.M., & Frisancho, V. (2017). Systematic bias in sensitive health behaviours and its impact on treatment effects: An application to violence against women.

Australia Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018, February 28). Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. RetrievedJune10, 2021, from

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2020, July 23). Health impacts of family, domestic and sexual violence. RetrievedJune10, 2021, from

Carline,A., & Dehaghani,R. (2018). 7. Domestic violence and abuse. Family Law.

Communities and Justice. (2019, September 24). The effects of domestic and family violence. Family & Community Services. RetrievedJune11, 2021, from

Domestic violence and family law. (2014). Shades of Grey Domestic and Sexual Violence Against Women, 102-127.

Domestic Violence Victoria. (2021). About family violence.

Humphreys,C. (2007). A health inequalities perspective on violence against women. Health & Social Care in the Community, 15(2), 120-127.

Isgandarova,N. (2018). Domestic violence literature review. Muslim Women, Domestic Violence, and Psychotherapy, 51-71.

Missionaustralia. (2021). Domestic and family violence statistics. Mission Australia.


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