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Violence against women in New Zealand : prevalence and health consequences Fanslow, Janet L.; Robinson, Elizabeth

By: Fanslow, Janet L.
Contributor(s): Robinson, Elizabeth.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: New Zealand Medical Journal.Publisher: New Zealand Medical Association 2004Description: 12 p. ; computer file : PDF format (54Kb).ISSN: 1175-8716.Subject(s): RECOMMENDED READING | DEMOGRAPHICS | DOMESTIC VIOLENCE | EMOTIONAL ABUSE | INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE | MENTAL HEALTH | NEW ZEALAND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN STUDY | PHYSICAL ABUSE | PREVALENCE | PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE | RAPE | SEXUAL ABUSE | STATISTICS | SURVIVORS | VICTIMS | WOMENOnline resources: Click here to access online | Read in NZMJ In: New Zealand Medical Journal 117(1206) 2004Summary: This article presents the first findings from the New Zealand Violence Against Women Study which is a population-based cluster-sample study of face-to-face interviews with 2,855 women aged 18-64. The study was undertaken in 2004 in the Auckland and Waikato regions and replicates the World Health Organisation Multi-Country Study on Violence Against Women. The authors report on the prevalence of non-partner and partner violence and the associated health consequences. The findings show that among women who had ever had male partners, 33% in Auckland and 39% in Waikato had experienced at least one act of physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime. Of these women, 19% in Auckland, and 23% in Waikato had experienced severe physical violence from a partner during their lifetime (that is, they were hit, beaten up, kicked, dragged, choked, burned threatened with a gun, knife or other weapon, or had a weapon used against them). Over 40% of those who had experienced moderate or severe physical violence had also been raped, forced to do degrading sexual acts, or had sex because they were afraid of what their partner might do if they said 'no'. Fanslow and Robinson found that the lifetime experience of partner violence is a major contributor to a range of poor health outcomes for women, with intimate partner violence being significantly associated with current self-perceived poor health, physical health problems, such as pain, and mental health problems, as well as higher health service needs and higher use of medication. Victims of partner abuse, who had experienced moderate physical violence, were two and a half times more likely to report current emotional distress than those who had not experienced partner abuse. Those who experienced severe physical violence were twice as likely to have been hospitalised in the last year, nearly 4 times more likely to report emotional distress, and almost 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide. The researchers maintain their findings concur with other New Zealand-based research, such as the "New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims 2001" (2003) and the 1995 Hitting Home Survey. They highlight the need to develop and sustain appropriate responses to victims of violence within the health system, and to ensure health professionals are aware of the connection between historical intimate partner violence and current ill health in their assessment and treatment of women. Fanslow and Robinson claim that their research findings strongly support the notion of causal link between intimate partner violence and ill health in women, and in light of the prevalence rate, point to the need for considerable and sustained investment in prevention of partner violence.
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New Zealand Medical Journal 117(1206) 2004

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This article presents the first findings from the New Zealand Violence Against Women Study which is a population-based cluster-sample study of face-to-face interviews with 2,855 women aged 18-64. The study was undertaken in 2004 in the Auckland and Waikato regions and replicates the World Health Organisation Multi-Country Study on Violence Against Women. The authors report on the prevalence of non-partner and partner violence and the associated health consequences. The findings show that among women who had ever had male partners, 33% in Auckland and 39% in Waikato had experienced at least one act of physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime. Of these women, 19% in Auckland, and 23% in Waikato had experienced severe physical violence from a partner during their lifetime (that is, they were hit, beaten up, kicked, dragged, choked, burned threatened with a gun, knife or other weapon, or had a weapon used against them). Over 40% of those who had experienced moderate or severe physical violence had also been raped, forced to do degrading sexual acts, or had sex because they were afraid of what their partner might do if they said 'no'. Fanslow and Robinson found that the lifetime experience of partner violence is a major contributor to a range of poor health outcomes for women, with intimate partner violence being significantly associated with current self-perceived poor health, physical health problems, such as pain, and mental health problems, as well as higher health service needs and higher use of medication. Victims of partner abuse, who had experienced moderate physical violence, were two and a half times more likely to report current emotional distress than those who had not experienced partner abuse. Those who experienced severe physical violence were twice as likely to have been hospitalised in the last year, nearly 4 times more likely to report emotional distress, and almost 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide. The researchers maintain their findings concur with other New Zealand-based research, such as the "New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims 2001" (2003) and the 1995 Hitting Home Survey. They highlight the need to develop and sustain appropriate responses to victims of violence within the health system, and to ensure health professionals are aware of the connection between historical intimate partner violence and current ill health in their assessment and treatment of women. Fanslow and Robinson claim that their research findings strongly support the notion of causal link between intimate partner violence and ill health in women, and in light of the prevalence rate, point to the need for considerable and sustained investment in prevention of partner violence.