Women hospitalised for assault – mostly a result of domestic violence
New findings from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) once again puts into sharp focus the impact of domestic, sexual and family violence on the Australian community.
The data show that for nearly 60% of women who were hospitalised after an assault, the perpetrator was recorded as a partner or spouse. In about one-quarter of cases, the perpetrator of the assault was not recorded in the hospital record.
The most common reason for hospitalisation was a head injury and women in the 20-34 year age group had the highest rates of hospital admissions.
Medibank Chief Medical Officer Linda Swan said family and domestic violence is a significant issue for the whole community.
“The data is alarming and highlights that there are very vulnerable women and children who need help. We need to work tirelessly to reduce violence against women and children – there is no place for it,” Ms Swan said.
“Women and girls who are experiencing domestic and family violence should know that violence is never okay and that there is help available 24/7 through the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence service 1800RESPECT.”
1800RESPECT is delivered by Medibank Health Services on behalf of the Federal Government Department of Social Services.
“1800RESPECT is a free and confidential telephone and online counselling service for people experiencing or at risk of sexual assault or family and domestic violence, including people in violent situations who may be fearing for their lives and that of their family. It is also there to support people concerned about somebody who may be at risk,” Ms Swan said.
“We are committed to ensuring this service delivers the best possible care to callers and that people in need get support from the right people as quickly as possible.
“1800RESPECT trained and experienced counsellors provide confidential support, information and counselling and you can get through to them from anywhere in Australia by calling 1800 737 732 or visiting www.1800respect.org.au anytime of the day or night.
“It often takes a lot of courage for victims of family and domestic violence or sexual assault to make the first call to access the help that they need, that is why it is so important to ensure that call is answered,” she said.
Over the last eight months 1800RESPECT has answered nearly 40,000 calls from people across Australia.