Violence against women: why higher reporting might be good

Anna M Klinken Whelan, Jan E Ritchie and Carina Hickling
Med J Aust 2016; 205 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00350
Published online: 17 October 2016

In March 2016, the television program Foreign Correspondent aired a story of Rosie Batty — Australian of the Year 2015 — travelling to Sweden to explore why such a progressive country and world leader in gender equality has “a dark and shameful side to [its] story” of family violence.1 The reporter Sally Sara stated that 46% of Swedish women experienced physical or sexual violence by men. That figure, based on interviews with 42 000 women from 28 member countries of the European Union, showed that Sweden at 46% and Denmark at 52% had the highest rates of women reporting physical or sexual violence, while on the other end of the spectrum, Polish women reported the lowest rate at 19%.2 In Australia, 41% of women aged 18 years and over said that they had experienced sexual or physical violence, the most likely perpetrator being a partner or date.3

  • Anna M Klinken Whelan1,2
  • Jan E Ritchie3
  • Carina Hickling3

  • 1 University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW



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