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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND MENTAL HEALTH Heather Nancarrow Director Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.

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Presentation on theme: "DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND MENTAL HEALTH Heather Nancarrow Director Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND MENTAL HEALTH Heather Nancarrow Director Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research

2 OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATION Nature and prevalence Impacts General Babies and toddlers Children 4 – 12 years Young people

3 OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATION Key initiatives / responses Concluding comments

4 NATURE Emotional Verbal Psychological / spiritual Financial abuse Sexual / Physical

5 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS GENDERED VictimsPerpetrators 87 % female98% male (Access Economics, 2004) Gender differences in: motivation, frequency, severity, outcomes ( Dobash, Dobash, Wilson and Daly, 1992; James,1999

6 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS GENDERED

7 PREVALENCE Current relationships *Mouzos & Makkai, 2004 †Nancarrow, Lockie, Sharma, 2009 Australia*Queensland† Non-physical37%31% Physical10%11.5% NB: Indicative – studies not directly comparable

8 NON-FATAL IMPACTS Physical injuries Fractures, lacerations, bruises Reproductive health STI, termination, birth complications, miscarriage Mental health Depression, anxiety, eating disorders traumatic and post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias

9 NON-FATAL IMPACTS Unhealthy practices Harmful tobacco and alcohol use, illicit drugs Other Chronic pain, sleep disorders, homelessness / transience, poverty

10 FATAL IMPACTS Homicide Suicide STIs Death during/following childbirth

11 HOMICIDE Intimate partner homicide AustraliaQueensland 77 p.a.11 p.a Mouzos & Rushforth, 2003 NB: Under-counting due to data collection / reporting

12 HOMICIDE Homicide of children by parents Average 25 p.a. Killer: 63% fathers Motives: 3 of 5 cases unknown 21% - ‘domestic altercation’ 9% - ‘family breakdown’ Mouzos & Rushforth, 2003

13 MENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS Physical abuse Condition Any physical abuse Severe physical abuse Within last 12 months Sexual abuse Times more likely Depression Severe psychological symptoms Nancarrow, Lockie and Sharma, 2009

14 MENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS Non-physical abuse Condition Any non- physical Psych.Social- psych. Economic Times more likely Depression Severe psychological symptoms Nancarrow, Lockie and Sharma, 2009

15 CHILDREN’S REACTIONS Tension, fear, aggression, uncertainty  feelings: FearTerrorDread WorrySadness HelplessnessNumbness AngerGuiltSelf-blame Shame

16 IMPACTS: BABIES & TODDLERS Impaired brain development / social development Greater irritability Psychosomatic illness, sleep/eating disorders Aggression

17 IMPACTS: CHILDREN 4 – 12 YEARS Poor concentration Aggression, hyperactivity, disobedience Disturbed sleep, nightmares Withdrawal, low self-esteem Showing no emotion (’spaced out’) Always on edge, wary

18 IMPACTS: YOUNG PEOPLE Depression Suicide Aggression Sexual/physical violence Substance abuse WithdrawalParental abuse

19 OPPORTUNITIES Time for Action Qld Government strategy Coming attractions: Battered person’s defence – draft bill Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum

20 THANK YOU The Q’ld Department of Communities provides triennial funding for the Q’ld Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research to undertake research, evaluation, sector development and community engagement on issues pertaining to domestic and family violence.


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