Experiences of domestic violence among women with restrictive long-term health conditions: Report for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

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Abstract

This report was prepared for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. It describes the domestic violence experiences of women with restrictive long-term health conditions during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, using survey data collected in May 2020 from over 8,000 Australian women who were in a current relationship.

After controlling for a number of other factors associated with domestic violence such as age, Indigenous status and education level, women with a restrictive long-term health condition were more likely than women without such health conditions to have experienced physical or sexual partner violence and/or coercive control in the three months prior to the survey. Women with restrictive long-term health conditions were also more likely to report experiencing the onset or escalation of domestic violence in the past three months. The risk of domestic violence was even higher among women with intersecting risk factors for domestic violence: Indigenous women, women from non-English-speaking backgrounds, and women under financial stress.