Violence Against Women and Children
Despite increasing publicity of domestic violence there is still
little public awareness of just how often victims of domestic
violence acquire a brain injury. Brain Injury Australia has written
a separate policy paper on the high rates of inflicted traumatic
brain injury (ITBI) in children - the leading cause of death and
disability the result of physical abuse. 163 infant males (aged
less than one year old) and 132 infant females were hospitalised
due to assault in Australia during 2006-2007. Of the 261 children
admitted to New South Wales' Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program
during the same year, seven per cent had acquired their brain
injury due to assaults resulting from domestic violence.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Historically many cultures accepted men 'disciplining' their
wives. Although this was made illegal in most western countries in
the 19th century, it was only in the 1990s that substantial effort
was put into enforcing laws that aimed to prevent domestic
So what is violence against women? The United Nations
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women defines
violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that
results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or
psychological harm or suffering to women including threats of such
acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether
occurring in public or private life".
According to White Ribbon, violence against women is violence
directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects a
woman, disproportionately. This may include assault, rape,
harassment, murder, lesbian bashing, elder abuse, genital
mutilation, enforced prostitution, enforced sterilisation, enforced
abortion, killing of unwanted female babies, enforced motherhood
and economic violence.
THE SHOCKING NUMBERS
White Ribbon is a male-led movement to stop violence against
women. They recently updated research conducted by Dr Michael Flood
to reveal some truly shocking statistics.
- Up to half of Australian women will experience physical or
sexual violence by a man at some point in their lives.
- One woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or
- Over one year, between five and ten per cent of Australian
women experienced at least one incident of physical and/or sexual
violence by a man.