Victims of violence among Indigenous mothers living with dependent children


The objective of this study was to identify individual and household factors associated with violence among Australian Indigenous women and dependent children. Univariate and multivariate analysis of data from the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, stratified by area, was undertaken. The results showed that one in four Indigenous women living with dependent children younger than 15 years reported being victims of violence in the previous year; this corresponds to an estimated 24,221 Indigenous mothers nationwide. Violence was more prevalent in regional areas and cities than remote areas. In remote areas, mothers who had been removed from their natural families during childhood had nearly threefold greater odds of being victims of violence; in non-remote areas, the odds were 72% greater. Older maternal age was associated with lower odds of experiencing violence in both non-remote areas and remote areas. Women with partners residing in the household faced lower odds of violence in both non-remote areas and remote areas. The authors conclude that the prevalence of violence against Indigenous mothers with young children is alarmingly high across remote and non-remote areas. This study identified distinctive characteristics of victims, but further research is needed to assess potential risk factors, such as history of removal from natural family.

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