A population study on Indigenous hospitalisations for interpersonal violence


Indigenous people experience a disproportionately high burden of interpersonal violence. This paper compares the demographic characteristics and injury circumstances of male and female Indigenous Australians hospitalised due to interpersonal violence in Western Australia over a 15-year period. A population-based, retrospective study of all hospitalisations due to interpersonal violence for Indigenous people in WA was undertaken using the linked 1990-2004 data from the WA Mortality Database and the Hospital Morbidity Data System. The majority of Indigenous hospitalisations were for females (56.3%). Female victims were more likely to be admitted due to maltreatment and rape (11.9%). Age profiles, residential location and length of hospital stay were similar between both sexes. The results indicate higher rates of hospitalisation and readmissions for interpersonal violence in WA among Indigenous females than males. There may potentially be different risk factors for each sex and further investigation will have public health benefits.

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