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It’s difficult to have open and honest conversations about what we need to do to stop violence against women in a society that considers itself to be inclusive, progressive and fair.
And it overlooks the fact that men and women experience violence in different contexts.
Men are more likely to be assaulted in public places by other men.
But globally, one in three women will be beaten in their lifetime.
Australians tend to think that we hold more progressive attitudes toward violence against women and that it’s less prevalent here but the numbers disagree.
The impact of violence on women of reproductive age also has strong implications for their children.
In Australia, 36% of women who reported experiencing violence said it occurred when they were pregnant, and 18% experienced it for the first time during pregnancy.
It’s responsible for more illness and premature death than any other preventable cause, such as hypertension, obesity, or smoking.
There’s a lack of consistent data on how many women are hospitalised because of violence but we know that domestic violence constitutes the single biggest health risk to women of reproductive age.
Communities can and must support boys in developing positive attitudes toward women and equip them with better ways of dealing with conflict.
Men and boys are also impacted by the violence against women around them, so education will clearly benefit society as a whole.