Domestic Violence: 1 Australian Woman is Hospitalised in Every 3 Hours Due to Abuse

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By Reissa Su | February 19, 2014 7:38 PM EST

A woman is hospitalised in Australia roughly every three hours due to domestic violence. She may be a victim of abuse from her husband, partner, guardian or sibling. According to a Canberra Times report, some women remain silent and not reveal how they were injured. Instead of becoming victims of domestic abuse, some women will claim to have slipped in the shower or ran into the doorknob as the cause of their injuries.

A research study conducted by Sophie Pointer, deputy director of the Research Centre for Injury Studies at Flinders University, revealed that about every three hours, a woman in Australia is hospitalised because of abuse. Despite using data taken between 2002 and 2005, experts said the situation may have remained the same.

According to figures taken from the 2012 Personal Safety Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in six women endure domestic violence caused by her partner. The figure does not consider violence inflicted by a date or a partner who doesn't share the same home.

Research studies also revealed that women who experienced sexual abuse under the age of 15 are more likely to suffer domestic violence at the hands of their partners after turning 18.

Most victims of domestic violence were also unlikely to report to police if the abuser shares the same home. Only one in five women is likely to report the abuse. If the partner or woman leaves, two in five women will report the abuse to the authorities.

Despite the alarming figures, National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics Assistant Director Brad Petry said the problem is not in the data. The abuse will continue because different states have different concepts of family and legislation. It is the difference that makes it difficult to know how bad domestic abuse is in Australia.

It is also difficult for service providers and the organisations that help people keep track of victims since there are many ways to get in and out of the system.

The Department of Social Services has launched the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Children in 2012. The target date is 2022. Australia is still two years into the plan, but there is still no clear sign of improvement.

The high-profile case of Simon Gittany may have inspired women to report domestic abuse, according to anti-domestic violence group. Mr Gittany has been convicted for murdering his fiancée Lisa Harnum. He was sentenced to 26 years in jail with a non-parole term of 18 years in Feb 17. The court found Mr Gittany guilty of throwing Ms Harnum from the 15th floor of their Sydney apartment in 2011.

Since the case began, Domestic Violence New South Wales has seen an increase in the number of abused women looking for support.  

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