Violence against women occurs on a continuum from psychological, economic and emotional abuse through to physical and sexual violence. It is the biggest contributor to ill health and premature death in women aged 15–44.

VicHealth focuses on preventing violence against women because it is a significant and preventable contributor to ill health. Violence is more damaging to the health of Victorian women aged 15–44 years than any other well-known risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.

Intimate partner violence has wide-ranging and persistent effects on women’s physical and mental health. The greatest of these is mental illness – anxiety and depression – which make up 58% of the disease burden resulting from violence. 

Violence against women occurs across the whole community, however certain groups of women experience much higher rates of male violence than others. These groups include women with disabilities, Aboriginal women, women in rural and remote areas, and immigrant and refugee women.

Australians' attitudes to violence against women

Findings from the 2013 National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS). This survey tells us how far we have come in challenging a culture that allows violence against women to occur.

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Generating equality and respect

The Generating Equality and Respect Program is a world first, site-based, saturation approach to preventing violence against women before it occurs delivered in partnership with Monash City Council, MonashLink and VicHealth.

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