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The concept of romance tourism came from researchers' observations in Jamaica ; it appeared to them that the female tourist and local males viewed their relationship with each other solely based on romance and courtship rather than lust and monetary value. Male sex workers have more freedom and security than female sex workers do because males are not confined to a brothel or a pimp and are not generally physically abused by their clients.

Similar to the sex tourists, sex workers have their own intentions. Just as some Western women may consider the local men exotic, the local men may consider Western women to be exotic. Popular characteristics that appeal to a majority of sex workers are women with blonde hair and light colored eyes. On the other side of the spectrum, most sex workers have the intention of making some form of monetary gain.

Such a sex worker typically profiles tourists, in hopes of increasing his monetary wealth the fastest. While profiling he will look for older women, over the age of forty or young, overweight women. The sex worker considers these women vulnerable and will play on their vulnerability to get the tourists to obtain feelings for the sex worker. Once the tourist and sex worker obtain a relationship, the sex worker finds it easier for them to engage in a monetary exchange.

The local men and the tourists understand their roles in the relationship. The primary difference in definition of a local man to a romance tourist and a local man to a sex tourist is the emphasis the romance tourist places on passion instead of a transaction of goods or money for sexual favors. Neither has there been reliable research done into whether or not condom use is prevalent among female sex tourists.

However, writer Julie Bindel speculates, in an article for the Guardian, that HIV infection figures for the region suggest that condom use by the "beach boys" in the Caribbean may be sporadic, yet female sex tourists do not appear especially preoccupied by the potential risks. Women seeking to experience sex with foreign men put themselves at a higher risk for STIs. Condom use during sex tours is relatively low. It is often cited that women have the intention to have safe sex with their casual sex partners while on vacation, but at some point during the initiation of the condom, the women do not follow through.

The sex workers usually will not initiate the use of a condom due to either the limited availability of condoms, cost, beliefs or previous experiences the sex worker has had with condoms.

The lack of barrier contraceptives increases the risk of the tourist obtaining a sexually transmitted infection from their foreign partner especially when their partner has been with multiple women. With sex tourism, women report that, given the atmosphere and the exoticness of their lover; condoms are rarely used or discussed prior to engaging in sexual activities.

It has been found that in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica data researched by Nancy Romero Daza, has shown that female tourists in the region engage in some form of unprotected sexual activity with local men known as Gringueros. The women in the study were found to not be traditional sex tourists but situational sex tourists. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Annals of Tourism Research. Tourism in Southeast Asia: Challenges and New Directions.

Tourists, Tourism and the Good Life. Tourism and 'embodied' Commodities: Sex Tourism in the Caribbean. Sexual expectations and behaviour among young women on holiday". Culture, Health and Sexuality. A Contradiction in Terms? Archived from the original on 9 May Retrieved 4 July The Sydney Morning Herald. The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 9 April Lingering but confused gaze of indie director". Reports of such physical violence increased with age to 42 per cent of women aged 19 to 20 years.

While rates for male victimisation were similar, females were at least four times as likely as males to have been frightened by the experience. Some 14 per cent of females, compared with three per cent of males, indicated that they had been sexually assaulted.

The figure is highest amongst young women aged 19 to 20 years 20 per cent. It often takes place in public and can involve a number of people. Indigenous women may be more likely to fight back when confronted with violence than non-Indigenous women.

There are significant deficiencies in the availability of statistics and research on the extent and nature of family violence in Indigenous communities. What data exists suggests that Indigenous people suffer violence, including family violence, at significantly higher rates than other Australians. In addition to more general reasons for non-disclosure that are shared with the wider community, there are reasons specific to Indigenous communities:.

Indigenous people experience violence at rates that are typically double or more those experienced by non-Indigenous people, and this can be much higher in some remote communities. Indigenous women in particular are far more likely to experience violent victimisation, and suffer more serious violence, than non-Indigenous women.

Indigenous males are also over-represented as victims when compared to non-Indigenous males, with a rate four times higher. This was substantially higher in remote areas 37 per cent than non-remote areas 21 per cent. One-half 50 per cent of the hospitalisations for females for assaults were as a consequence of family violence, whereas the corresponding proportion for males was 19 per cent.

While there is some evidence that women living in rural and remote areas are more likely to experience domestic violence, the picture is far from clear.

Domestic violence may be less likely to be disclosed in rural and remote areas due to the ideology of self-reliance, and informal sanctions and social control. Women in rural and remote areas may also find it harder to seek help or leave a violent relationship. Factors such as access to services, a perceived lack of confidentiality and anonymity, stigma attached to the public disclosure of violence and lack of transport and telecommunications may compound the isolation victims of domestic violence already experience as part of the abuse.

Data from the ABS Personal Safety Survey on the prevalence of violence indicate similar rates of physical and sexual assault in the past 12 months between capital cities and balance of state. The likelihood of experience of violence by current partner since the age of 15 was similar whether respondents lived in, or outside capital cities.

However, experience of previous partner violence since the age of 15 was higher for those living outside the capital cities, particularly for females. Some 18 per cent of females living outside capital cities experienced violence by a previous partner since the age of 15, compared with 13 per cent of females in capital cities. The full extent of violence against people with disabilities is unknown.

However, there is evidence that women with disabilities are more likely than those without disabilities to experience domestic violence. A study examined the nature and extent of violence against women with disabilities who accessed services for family and domestic violence in Western Australia. By far the most common perpetrators of violence against these women were male partners, accounting for 43 per cent; with a further 11 per cent experiencing violence by a female partner.

ABS data indicate that rates of physical assault victimisation were highest for Australian-born persons, followed by those born in the main English-speaking countries comprising the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, United States of America and South Africa than those born in other countries. However, 19 per cent of women born overseas in main English-speaking countries reported previous partner violence since the age of 15, compared with 16 per cent of Australian-born women and 7 per cent of those born in other countries.

Similarly, the IVAWS indicated that women from English-speaking backgrounds reported higher levels of physical, sexual and any violence compared to non English-speaking background NESB [87] women over their lifetime.

However, it is possible that personal, cultural, religious and language factors may have resulted in NESB women who had experienced violence not participating in the survey, or those who did participate being less likely to report incidents of physical and sexual violence or openly discuss such information with survey interviewers. In terms of identifying violence as a crime, victims differentiate between strangers and partners.

Only one in ten women 11 per cent who experienced violence from a current husband or partner considered the most recent incident to be a crime compared to almost four in ten women who experienced violence from a former husband or partner 38 per cent.

For women who experienced violence from a current boyfriend, 18 per cent considered the most recent incident to be a crime compared with 22 per cent who experienced violence from a former boyfriend.

Using ABS data, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found that less than half of all respondents who had been the victim of a domestic assault in the previous 12 months reported the incident to the police. Older victims, those who were married and victims of assaults that did not involve weapons or serious injury were less likely to report to police.

Women appear to be particularly reluctant to report current partners. According to ABS data, of females who experienced physical assault or sexual assault by a male in the previous 12 months, there was greatest reluctance to report incidents to police when the perpetrator was a current partner.

In terms of sexual assault, none of those assaulted by a current partner in the latest incident told police, compared with 30 per cent of those assaulted by a boyfriend or date and 21 per cent of those assaulted by a previous partner. They may feel confused, loyal and forgiving about a current partner. A more accurate assessment of the violence might emerge on leaving the relationship, with the passage of time and the benefits of safety and hindsight. Few women who were victims of domestic violence sought help from a specialised agency.

Women were more likely to talk to someone else about a violent incident than they were to tell police or contact a specialised agency. Some 75 per cent of women spoke to someone else about a violent incident involving an intimate partner.

Of those women who had experienced current partner violence at any time since the age of 15, only 10 per cent had a violence order issued. For women who had experienced previous partner violence since the age of 15, some 25 per cent had a violence order issued.

Since the mids increased attention has been focused on the role of police in intervening and preventing domestic violence. The policing of domestic violence appears to be improving over time. The strategy aims to ensure that responses by Australasian jurisdictions are based on more consistent policies and practices; it outlines priorities for action to improve information and intelligence sharing between police, as well as between partner agencies.

While legal reforms of the late s and s strengthened police powers to deal with domestic violence, the trend towards pro-arrest policies has only recently begun to influence operational policing in Australia. In general, Australian police agencies have adopted policies that promote arrest as the primary intervention where there is a belief on reasonable grounds that an offence has been committed.

At the same time there is a shift towards collaboration with a broader range of partner agencies to provide referral and support for victims. The ACT has a pro-arrest, pro-charge policy on domestic and family violence; such cases are fast tracked through the courts. The FVIP integrates the activities of the police, prosecution, courts and corrections and coordinates with other key agencies, such as domestic violence advocacy services.

There was a per cent increase in the number of family violence matters handled by the Department of Public Prosecutions DPP over the eight years from —99 to — This program represented ground-breaking reform when it was initiated in An independent review of Safe At Home found four key strengths of the program:.

During the first three years of Safe at Home the total incidents attended by police increased, before declining marginally in — The average number of family violence incidents per month increased from to 11 per cent between —05 and —07, and then decreased to in — The number of new applications then declined in —06 to orders and was relatively steady across the following two financial years.

Recent crime statistics also reflect a changing approach in Victoria. In August the Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence , was introduced to improve police responses to family violence incidents and encourage community confidence to report these offences to police.

Since then this figure has risen steadily and in —11, family violence assaults accounted for 30 per cent of all assaults. The number of these offences increased by 26 per cent between —10 and — This was a 25 per cent increase from the previous year.

In the ACT, a longitudinal statistical analysis of over incidents of domestic violence reported to the police from to revealed some of the situational factors influencing the arrest decision: At present, comparisons across jurisdictions are virtually impossible.

To know whether there are changes in practice and in outcomes over time, there is a need to develop indicators of police performance that are both practical and useful.

Domestic violence may end in homicide. Of the homicide incidents in —08, the majority 52 per cent were classified domestic homicides involving one or more victims who shared a family or domestic relationship with the offender. Thirty-one per cent were intimate partner homicides. Fifty-five per cent of female homicide victims were killed by an intimate partner compared with 11 per cent of male homicide victims.

Indigenous people were overrepresented in intimate partner homicides; one in five 20 per cent victims were Indigenous, as were nearly one in four offenders 24 per cent. A large proportion of domestic homicides occurred at residential locations 84 per cent [].

Hence, the most likely scenario for the homicide of an Australian woman is at home at the hands of an intimate partner. Domestic violence has severe and persistent effects on physical and mental health. Using burden of disease methodology, VicHealth determined that domestic violence is the leading risk factor contributing to death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 to Physical injury is common as a result of domestic violence.

Two in every five women in the IVAWS who experienced intimate partner violence reported that they were injured in the most recent incident of violence. However, ten per cent suffered broken bones or noses, six per cent sustained head or brain injuries and six per cent internal injuries.

Some 29 per cent of those who sustained injuries were injured badly enough to require medical attention and 30 per cent of women felt that their life was in danger in the most recent incident. This was more likely for incidents involving previous partners 35 per cent than for current partners 15 per cent.

The health consequences of domestic violence endure after the violence has stopped. The effects of domestic violence also have a cumulative impact on the mental health of the victim. Women who experienced GBV reported a higher level of severity and co-morbidity of mental disorders, increased rates of physical disorders, greater mental-health related dysfunction, general disability and impaired quality of life.

Women who had experienced GBV also reported higher rates of past suicide attempts. Domestic violence also has a detrimental impact on the mental health of men who experience it. Some suggest that the stigma associated with being a victim of domestic violence may be particularly marked for men and that men experience significant psychological symptoms. Children and adolescents living with domestic violence are at increased risk of experiencing emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that domestic violence has an impact not only on adults, but also children who may witness the violence. Research on children exposed to domestic violence indicates that there are a range of impacts that such children are likely to experience, among them:. Researchers note that such social, behavioural, cognitive and emotional effects may also have a lasting impact on education and employment outcomes.

The ABS found that 49 per cent of persons who experienced violence by a current partner reported that they had children in their care and 27 per cent 60 said that children had witnessed the violence.

Some 61 per cent of persons who experienced violence by a previous partner had children in their care at some time during the relationship and 36 per cent reported that children had witnessed the violence. Domestic violence is one of the typical pathways into homelessness for Australian women. The single greatest reason people present to SAAP is domestic or family violence, accounting for 22 per cent of support periods.

Indigenous women are overrepresented in SAAP. In —09 Indigenous women accounted for one in four 25 per cent support periods for women escaping domestic violence, an alarmingly high figure given they account for around two per cent of the Australian female population. Some researchers consider that domestic violence-related homelessness differs from other forms of homelessness, as cycling in and out of homelessness is a more common pattern for many women affected by domestic violence than those in the broader homeless population.

The ABS found that 37 per cent of women who experienced violence from a current partner had separated and returned. Domestic violence is also a factor in youth homelessness. The National Youth Commission Inquiry into Youth Homelessness found that family breakdown and conflict, including domestic violence, were common factors precipitating homelessness. Housing is critical for survivors of domestic violence. Trying to find accommodation is time consuming and stressful and must necessarily take priority over other needs, such as education and employment.

At a national level, the costs of domestic violence are enormous. On an individual level, domestic violence creates complex economic issues for women and their children and disrupts their lives over the short and long term.

Regardless of their prior economic circumstances, many women experience financial risk or poverty as a result of domestic violence. These difficulties hamper their recovery and capacity to regain control over their lives. Gaining and maintaining paid work is pivotal in creating a secure financial future for victims of domestic violence and their families. However, participation in employment can be seriously undermined by ongoing abuse and its subsequent effects.

Australian researchers, for example, found that some women had not been allowed to work while in a violent relationship and found it difficult to enter or re-enter the workforce post separation. Women affected by domestic violence are also more likely to have a disrupted work history and are more likely to occupy casual and part-time work than women with no experience of violence.

In short, women escaping and experiencing domestic violence are often the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the labour market. Each jurisdiction in Australia has in place a variety of laws, programs and policies responding to, and attempting to prevent domestic violence. Each jurisdiction funds its own programs and systems, but there are also some Australian Government funded programs operating in the states and territories, particularly supported accommodation, safe houses and the Northern Territory Emergency Response.

In May , the Australian Government established the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children the National Council to advise on measures to reduce the incidence and impact of violence against women and their children. It seeks six national outcomes:. The National Plan also includes a range of Australian Government, state and territory initiatives.

In the Australian Government committed to an expansion of primary care projects, a national register for domestic and family violence orders, funding for fighting alcohol and drug abuse in Indigenous communities and a family violence project through the Child Support Program in the Human Services portfolio.

Prevention has become a central focus of community and government efforts to address violence in relationships and families. In preventing violence against women, VicHealth identified three interrelated themes: Perpetrator programs aim to reduce the risk of known perpetrators committing further offences.

They aim to prevent violence by changing attitudes and behaviour. A range of different approaches are employed in perpetrator programs including goal setting, solution focused approaches, counselling, behaviour change, narrative therapy, and anger management. There is limited research into perpetrators of domestic violence in Australia.

While perpetrator programs may be part of the prevention picture, the research evidence in this area is inconclusive. The program has a relatively low attrition rate, with close to 80 percent of participants completing treatment.

Evaluation of the program has shown significant reductions in reoffending rates in the DAP treatment group and a longer time to reoffend, compared with a matched control group. It is also effective for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. Some argue that services for perpetrators are actually services for perpetrators and their victims, all of whom may gain from services to perpetrators.

This approach is based on the premise that men can play a positive role in helping to stop violence against women and builds on the fact that most men are not violent.

Some advocate a role for men in educating other men. When conducting violence prevention work with all-male audiences, there are a number of good reasons to use men as facilitators and peer educators, including:. The rationale for fostering respectful relationships among children and young people is clear.

Many children and young people are exposed to, and influenced by violence in relationships and families, and violence-supportive attitudes, norms, and relations are already visible among young people. Australian researchers have produced guidelines on best practice in violence and sexual assault prevention through education, stressing the importance of a coherent conceptual framework; relevant, inclusive and culturally sensitive practice; comprehensive development and delivery and effective evaluation.

The Australian Government is funding Respectful Relationships education projects nationally. The primary focus of the program is to develop the skills young people need to treat their partners with respect through the provision of education to young people aged years.

Project outcomes are to work with young people to raise their awareness of ethical behaviour, develop protective behaviours and develop their skills in conducting respectful relationships. Safe at home programs are a relatively new model that works as part of an integrated, multi-agency approach. This model assumes that the perpetrators of violence should be held accountable for their actions and removed from the family home, allowing women and children to stay.

Safe at home programs are unsuitable for women and children at extreme risk of violence from their partner or family member. Bsafe is a personal alarm system; when pressed an alarm is sent to a VitalCall response centre and alerted for police to respond. The service applied to 72 women and more than of their children over the past three years.

The enhanced police response served as a deterrent for some perpetrators and increased the likelihood of detection and prosecution. Domestic violence is a long standing, complex social issue.

Since the s, however, there has been a profound transformation in public awareness about this problem. A greater evidence base, in terms of what works in violence prevention, is necessary for further progress. Journal of family violence. Journal of interpersonal violence. Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse. National Network of Women's Legal Services.

Violence Prevention Coordination Unit. Staying Home Leaving Violence. Victoria Office of Women's Policy. Victoria Police - Family Violence. A Right to Respect: Towards a safer future for Indigenous families and communities.

Queensland Office for Women including Violence against Women. For our Sons and Daughters: Government of Western Australia, Domestic Violence. Safe at Home Program. South Australia Office for Women. Women Tasmania including Family and Community Violence. Sexual Assault Support Services. Building on our Strengths: Australian Capital Territory Office for Women. Domestic Violence Crisis Service A. L Dowse and A Parkinson, Forgotten sisters: L McFerran, Taking back the castle: L McFerran, The disappearing age: S Meyer, Responding to intimate partner violence victimisation: S Murray and A Powell forthcoming Domestic violence: Australian public policy, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne.

L Nowra, Bad dreaming: Aboriginal men's violence against women and children, Pluto Press, Melbourne, B Fehlberg and J Behrens, Australian family law: For a discussion of the complexities involved in defining family and domestic violence see:

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How Australians reacted to same-sex marriage vote. Cities celebrate Gay Pride Month. Australia to vote on same-sex marriage. Gay pride parade obstructed by Turkish police. North Carolina repeals bathroom law.

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Italian lawmakers debate same-sex civil unions. Rainbow-colored smoke, confetti and cheers erupted in the center of Melbourne following the announcement, where hundreds of people had gathered to hear the result.

When couple Jane Mahoney, 28, and Josie Lennie, 26, heard the result they collapsed into each others' arms in tears. Mahoney and Lennie said they were "over the moon" with the result. Celebrations, singing and tears greeted the announcement in Melbourne. It's the beginning of the end of a long-running campaign to allow marriage equality in Australia, something already legal in the majority of English-speaking countries worldwide. Prevalence and types of violence Risk factors for domestic violence.

Alcohol and drug use Child abuse Pregnancy and separation Attitudes to violence against women. Younger women Indigenous women Women living in rural and remote areas Women with disability Women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Reporting to police and seeking help. Police response to domestic violence offences. The impact of domestic violence. Homicide Health impacts Children Homelessness Economic impacts. The policy response to domestic violence Future directions. Perpetrator programs Engaging men and boys Violence prevention education for children and young people Safe at home programs.

Each culture has its sayings and songs about the importance of home, and the comfort and security to be found there. Yet for many women, home is a place of pain and humiliation For too long hidden behind closed doors and avoided in public discourse, such violence can no longer be denied as part of everyday life for millions of women.

This background note is a guide to research and resources on domestic violence in Australia. It is intended as an update to previous Parliamentary Library publications on this topic. It also covers policy approaches designed to prevent domestic violence, a survey of current Australian Government programs and initiatives and a review of future directions in domestic violence prevention.

Appendix A contains links to sources of further information on domestic violence in Australia. There has been much debate regarding the most appropriate terminology to use for violence between spouses and partners.

Domestic violence refers to acts of violence that occur between people who have, or have had, an intimate relationship in domestic settings. The traditional associations of domestic violence are with acts of physical violence within relationships occurring in the home but this understanding fails to grasp the complexity of the phenomenon.

Family violence is a broader term referring to violence between family members as well as violence between intimate partners. This term also covers a complexity of behaviours beyond that of direct physical violence. Given the scope of this definition of domestic violence, the private nature of the relationships within which violence occurs and the fact that most incidents of domestic violence go unreported, it is impossible to measure the true extent of the problem.

We do know, however, that domestic violence in Australia is common and widespread. We know that a woman is more likely to be killed in her home by her male partner than anywhere else or by anyone else. The ABS Personal Safety Survey provided information on people's safety at home and in the community and, in particular, on the nature and extent of violence against people in Australia.

Information was collected through personal interviews with approximately 16 people in all states and territories. A total of 6 women aged between 18 and 69 years participated in the survey and provided information on their experiences of physical and sexual violence. More recent statistics are limited; for example, the ABS regularly releases Recorded crime—victims data, derived from administrative systems maintained by state and territory police.

While this includes information on sexual assault and the relationship of offenders to victims, it does not include analysis of other forms of domestic violence-related data. The next National Community Attitudes Survey is likely to be in the field in , with results expected in The ABS Personal Safety Survey , which defined violence as any incident involving the occurrence, attempt or threat of either physical or sexual assault, found:. Later ABS data on crime victimisation reflects similar patterns.

Of respondents aged 15 years and over three per cent of males and two per cent of females reported being a victim of physical assault in the previous 12 months. The figures for sexual assault of respondents aged 18 years and over were 0.

Younger people were more likely to report being a victim of physical assault—6 per cent of those aged 15—24 years, dropping to one percent of those aged 65 years and over. Most males 89 per cent and females 67 per cent who were victims of physical assault reported that the offender was male. One in five females 20 per cent reported that the offender was a current or previous partner, compared with two per cent of males.

The Australian component of the IVAWS in —03 employed a broader definition of violence, measuring physical violence including threats , sexual violence including unwanted sexual touching and psychological violence including controlling behaviours such, as put downs and keeping track of whereabouts.

While there is no single cause that leads to domestic violence, there are a number of risk factors associated with perpetrators and victims of domestic violence. Financial stress, personal stress and lack of social support are also strong correlates of violence against women.

Further research is necessary, however, to determine whether these factors are primarily causes or consequences of violence against women. Alcohol is a significant risk factor for domestic violence, particularly in Indigenous communities. A longitudinal analysis of alcohol outlet density found a relationship between alcohol availability and domestic violence. Packaged liquor outlets that sell alcohol for off-premise consumption were particularly implicated.

The ABS found that 49 per cent of women who had experienced an assault in the preceding 12 months where the perpetrator was male, stated that alcohol or drugs had contributed to the most recent incident. At the most serious end of the spectrum, many intimate-partner homicides are alcohol related. Between and , 44 percent of intimate-partner homicides were alcohol related.

The overwhelming majority 87 per cent of Indigenous intimate-partner homicides were alcohol related. Results from both the IVAWS and ABS surveys suggest a relationship between the experience of violence as a child and subsequent victimisation as an adult. The IVAWS found that women who experienced abuse during childhood were one and a half times more likely to experience violence in adulthood than those who had not experienced abuse during childhood.

Those who experienced physical abuse as children were more than twice as likely to experience violence by a partner as those who had not experienced child physical abuse.

Pregnancy and separation may be times of vulnerability to domestic violence. Of women who experienced partner violence since the age of 15, some 36 per cent reported experiencing violence from a previous partner during pregnancy; 18 per cent experienced domestic violence for the first time while they were pregnant.

Some 15 per cent reported experiencing violence from a current partner during pregnancy; eight per cent for the first time. It may be the case that violence follows separation, or the decision to separate is due to violence in the relationship. Overseas studies indicate that leaving a violent partner may increase the risk of more severe, or even lethal, violence. Attitudes and beliefs are also central to domestic violence. The most extensive national study on Australian attitudes to violence against women to date is the National Community Attitudes to Violence against Women Survey Findings from the survey suggest that length of residence in Australia has an impact on reducing tolerance levels for violence-supportive attitudes.

Domestic violence cuts across social and economic boundaries and the data on the effect of education, employment status and income are mixed. The IVAWS found that experience of current intimate partner violence during the previous 12 months varied little according to education, labour force status or household income. Women reliant on government pensions and allowances as their main source of household income were also at increased risk of violence by a previous partner over their lifetime.

Some women are more vulnerable to becoming victims of domestic violence and less able to leave violent relationships based on factors such as age, Indigenous status, location, disability, ethnicity, and English language abilities.

In the National Survey on Community Attitudes to Violence against Women, young people had a strong understanding of the criminal nature of domestic violence. However, they were less likely than older respondents to understand complex aspects of violence in relationships such as the range and seriousness of behaviour that constitutes domestic violence, if and when it can be excused and who is most likely to be a victim of it. They were also more likely than older people to agree with some misconceptions about rape, for example that it is usually perpetrated by strangers.

Further, pro-violence attitudes were greatest in the youngest age group 12—14 years and decreased with age. ABS and IVAWS statistics indicate that younger women are more likely to have recently experienced physical and sexual violence than older women. The Personal Safety Survey found that 12 per cent of women aged 18—24 years experienced at least one incident of violence in the last 12 months.

See the chart below for more detail. Some seven per cent 65, of women aged 18 to24 years experienced physical assault and 3 per cent 28 experienced sexual assault in the last 12 months. Experience of physical and sexual assault decreased with age to less than one percent of women aged 55 and over. Earlier research found that about one in three young people aged 12 to 20 years who had had a boyfriend or girlfriend, reported physical violence in their personal relationships.

Reports of such physical violence increased with age to 42 per cent of women aged 19 to 20 years. While rates for male victimisation were similar, females were at least four times as likely as males to have been frightened by the experience. Some 14 per cent of females, compared with three per cent of males, indicated that they had been sexually assaulted.

The figure is highest amongst young women aged 19 to 20 years 20 per cent. It often takes place in public and can involve a number of people. Indigenous women may be more likely to fight back when confronted with violence than non-Indigenous women. There are significant deficiencies in the availability of statistics and research on the extent and nature of family violence in Indigenous communities.

What data exists suggests that Indigenous people suffer violence, including family violence, at significantly higher rates than other Australians. In addition to more general reasons for non-disclosure that are shared with the wider community, there are reasons specific to Indigenous communities:. Indigenous people experience violence at rates that are typically double or more those experienced by non-Indigenous people, and this can be much higher in some remote communities.

Indigenous women in particular are far more likely to experience violent victimisation, and suffer more serious violence, than non-Indigenous women. Indigenous males are also over-represented as victims when compared to non-Indigenous males, with a rate four times higher. This was substantially higher in remote areas 37 per cent than non-remote areas 21 per cent.

One-half 50 per cent of the hospitalisations for females for assaults were as a consequence of family violence, whereas the corresponding proportion for males was 19 per cent. While there is some evidence that women living in rural and remote areas are more likely to experience domestic violence, the picture is far from clear. Domestic violence may be less likely to be disclosed in rural and remote areas due to the ideology of self-reliance, and informal sanctions and social control.

Women in rural and remote areas may also find it harder to seek help or leave a violent relationship. Factors such as access to services, a perceived lack of confidentiality and anonymity, stigma attached to the public disclosure of violence and lack of transport and telecommunications may compound the isolation victims of domestic violence already experience as part of the abuse.

Data from the ABS Personal Safety Survey on the prevalence of violence indicate similar rates of physical and sexual assault in the past 12 months between capital cities and balance of state. The likelihood of experience of violence by current partner since the age of 15 was similar whether respondents lived in, or outside capital cities. However, experience of previous partner violence since the age of 15 was higher for those living outside the capital cities, particularly for females. Some 18 per cent of females living outside capital cities experienced violence by a previous partner since the age of 15, compared with 13 per cent of females in capital cities.

The full extent of violence against people with disabilities is unknown. However, there is evidence that women with disabilities are more likely than those without disabilities to experience domestic violence. A study examined the nature and extent of violence against women with disabilities who accessed services for family and domestic violence in Western Australia. By far the most common perpetrators of violence against these women were male partners, accounting for 43 per cent; with a further 11 per cent experiencing violence by a female partner.

ABS data indicate that rates of physical assault victimisation were highest for Australian-born persons, followed by those born in the main English-speaking countries comprising the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, United States of America and South Africa than those born in other countries. However, 19 per cent of women born overseas in main English-speaking countries reported previous partner violence since the age of 15, compared with 16 per cent of Australian-born women and 7 per cent of those born in other countries.

Similarly, the IVAWS indicated that women from English-speaking backgrounds reported higher levels of physical, sexual and any violence compared to non English-speaking background NESB [87] women over their lifetime. However, it is possible that personal, cultural, religious and language factors may have resulted in NESB women who had experienced violence not participating in the survey, or those who did participate being less likely to report incidents of physical and sexual violence or openly discuss such information with survey interviewers.

In terms of identifying violence as a crime, victims differentiate between strangers and partners. Only one in ten women 11 per cent who experienced violence from a current husband or partner considered the most recent incident to be a crime compared to almost four in ten women who experienced violence from a former husband or partner 38 per cent. For women who experienced violence from a current boyfriend, 18 per cent considered the most recent incident to be a crime compared with 22 per cent who experienced violence from a former boyfriend.

Using ABS data, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found that less than half of all respondents who had been the victim of a domestic assault in the previous 12 months reported the incident to the police.

Older victims, those who were married and victims of assaults that did not involve weapons or serious injury were less likely to report to police. Women appear to be particularly reluctant to report current partners. According to ABS data, of females who experienced physical assault or sexual assault by a male in the previous 12 months, there was greatest reluctance to report incidents to police when the perpetrator was a current partner.

In terms of sexual assault, none of those assaulted by a current partner in the latest incident told police, compared with 30 per cent of those assaulted by a boyfriend or date and 21 per cent of those assaulted by a previous partner.

They may feel confused, loyal and forgiving about a current partner. A more accurate assessment of the violence might emerge on leaving the relationship, with the passage of time and the benefits of safety and hindsight. Few women who were victims of domestic violence sought help from a specialised agency. Women were more likely to talk to someone else about a violent incident than they were to tell police or contact a specialised agency. Some 75 per cent of women spoke to someone else about a violent incident involving an intimate partner.

Of those women who had experienced current partner violence at any time since the age of 15, only 10 per cent had a violence order issued. For women who had experienced previous partner violence since the age of 15, some 25 per cent had a violence order issued. Since the mids increased attention has been focused on the role of police in intervening and preventing domestic violence. The policing of domestic violence appears to be improving over time.

The strategy aims to ensure that responses by Australasian jurisdictions are based on more consistent policies and practices; it outlines priorities for action to improve information and intelligence sharing between police, as well as between partner agencies.

While legal reforms of the late s and s strengthened police powers to deal with domestic violence, the trend towards pro-arrest policies has only recently begun to influence operational policing in Australia. In general, Australian police agencies have adopted policies that promote arrest as the primary intervention where there is a belief on reasonable grounds that an offence has been committed. At the same time there is a shift towards collaboration with a broader range of partner agencies to provide referral and support for victims.

The ACT has a pro-arrest, pro-charge policy on domestic and family violence; such cases are fast tracked through the courts. The FVIP integrates the activities of the police, prosecution, courts and corrections and coordinates with other key agencies, such as domestic violence advocacy services. There was a per cent increase in the number of family violence matters handled by the Department of Public Prosecutions DPP over the eight years from —99 to — This program represented ground-breaking reform when it was initiated in An independent review of Safe At Home found four key strengths of the program:.

During the first three years of Safe at Home the total incidents attended by police increased, before declining marginally in — The average number of family violence incidents per month increased from to 11 per cent between —05 and —07, and then decreased to in — The number of new applications then declined in —06 to orders and was relatively steady across the following two financial years.

Recent crime statistics also reflect a changing approach in Victoria. In August the Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence , was introduced to improve police responses to family violence incidents and encourage community confidence to report these offences to police. Since then this figure has risen steadily and in —11, family violence assaults accounted for 30 per cent of all assaults.

The number of these offences increased by 26 per cent between —10 and — This was a 25 per cent increase from the previous year. In the ACT, a longitudinal statistical analysis of over incidents of domestic violence reported to the police from to revealed some of the situational factors influencing the arrest decision: At present, comparisons across jurisdictions are virtually impossible.

To know whether there are changes in practice and in outcomes over time, there is a need to develop indicators of police performance that are both practical and useful. Domestic violence may end in homicide. Of the homicide incidents in —08, the majority 52 per cent were classified domestic homicides involving one or more victims who shared a family or domestic relationship with the offender.

Thirty-one per cent were intimate partner homicides. Fifty-five per cent of female homicide victims were killed by an intimate partner compared with 11 per cent of male homicide victims.

Indigenous people were overrepresented in intimate partner homicides; one in five 20 per cent victims were Indigenous, as were nearly one in four offenders 24 per cent. A large proportion of domestic homicides occurred at residential locations 84 per cent []. Hence, the most likely scenario for the homicide of an Australian woman is at home at the hands of an intimate partner. Domestic violence has severe and persistent effects on physical and mental health.

Using burden of disease methodology, VicHealth determined that domestic violence is the leading risk factor contributing to death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 to Physical injury is common as a result of domestic violence. Two in every five women in the IVAWS who experienced intimate partner violence reported that they were injured in the most recent incident of violence.

However, ten per cent suffered broken bones or noses, six per cent sustained head or brain injuries and six per cent internal injuries. Some 29 per cent of those who sustained injuries were injured badly enough to require medical attention and 30 per cent of women felt that their life was in danger in the most recent incident.

This was more likely for incidents involving previous partners 35 per cent than for current partners 15 per cent. The health consequences of domestic violence endure after the violence has stopped. The effects of domestic violence also have a cumulative impact on the mental health of the victim.

Women who experienced GBV reported a higher level of severity and co-morbidity of mental disorders, increased rates of physical disorders, greater mental-health related dysfunction, general disability and impaired quality of life.

Women who had experienced GBV also reported higher rates of past suicide attempts. Domestic violence also has a detrimental impact on the mental health of men who experience it.

Some suggest that the stigma associated with being a victim of domestic violence may be particularly marked for men and that men experience significant psychological symptoms. Children and adolescents living with domestic violence are at increased risk of experiencing emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that domestic violence has an impact not only on adults, but also children who may witness the violence. Research on children exposed to domestic violence indicates that there are a range of impacts that such children are likely to experience, among them:.

Researchers note that such social, behavioural, cognitive and emotional effects may also have a lasting impact on education and employment outcomes. The ABS found that 49 per cent of persons who experienced violence by a current partner reported that they had children in their care and 27 per cent 60 said that children had witnessed the violence. Some 61 per cent of persons who experienced violence by a previous partner had children in their care at some time during the relationship and 36 per cent reported that children had witnessed the violence.

Domestic violence is one of the typical pathways into homelessness for Australian women. The single greatest reason people present to SAAP is domestic or family violence, accounting for 22 per cent of support periods. Indigenous women are overrepresented in SAAP. In —09 Indigenous women accounted for one in four 25 per cent support periods for women escaping domestic violence, an alarmingly high figure given they account for around two per cent of the Australian female population.

Some researchers consider that domestic violence-related homelessness differs from other forms of homelessness, as cycling in and out of homelessness is a more common pattern for many women affected by domestic violence than those in the broader homeless population. The ABS found that 37 per cent of women who experienced violence from a current partner had separated and returned. Domestic violence is also a factor in youth homelessness. The National Youth Commission Inquiry into Youth Homelessness found that family breakdown and conflict, including domestic violence, were common factors precipitating homelessness.

Housing is critical for survivors of domestic violence. Trying to find accommodation is time consuming and stressful and must necessarily take priority over other needs, such as education and employment. At a national level, the costs of domestic violence are enormous.

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