Money woes lead to violence

Women living in financially stressed households are more likely to be exposed to physical abuse, a new crime study by Adjunct Professor Don Weatherburn has found.

Domestic violence inside

Women living in financially stressed households are around three times more likely to be exposed to physical abuse than women in households with no financial concerns, an Australia-first study has found.

The study, The influence of social stress, financial stress and social support on violence against women, is written by University of New South Wales Adjunct Professor Don Weatherburn, Director, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Around one in 25 women aged 35-44 will be assaulted or threatened with assault in any given 12 month period. The study, which used data from a large representative sample survey, shows that financial stress, personal stress and alcohol or drug problems greatly increase this risk.

The annual risk of assault or threatened assault for a woman aged 35-44 who is under no personal or financial stress and has no drug or alcohol problems is about 4.1%. If she has experienced a high level of financial stress over the preceding year, the risk jumps to 14.6%.

High levels of personal stress over the preceding 12 months lift the average risk from 4.1% to 12.7%. If drug or alcohol problems are involved, the average risk increases to 11.1%.

Professor Weatherburn presented his findings at the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) Seminar Series this week.

Listen to the seminar podcast here.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | fran.strachan@unsw.edu.au | 9385 8732 | 0429 416 070