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.

See all programs related to preventing violence against women.

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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Treat family violence like a public health issue and we may finally see results

There is change in the air. For those who have tirelessly campaigned for an end to violence against women, this week, which sees Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence begin its public hearings, will be bittersweet.

Read the opinion piece

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