Domestic violence is long-term

THE long-term impacts of domestic violence are under the microscope as part of a study by the University of South Australia and Curtin University.

The research highlights that violence has a day-to-day impact on the lives of Australian women long after the violence ends through increased financial hardship, the need to change working conditions, making a geographical move or negative impacts on their mental health.

Centre for Non-Violence chief executive Margaret Augerinos has welcomed the research.

"What the researchers are talking about, in terms of the long-term impacts of domestic violence, pretty much mirror the experience women bring to our service," she said.

"Certainly, the impacts around financial impacts on women and children are pretty significant.

"Social dislocation through having to move home and disrupting schooling and family and social connections are pretty significant as well.

"And mental health issues are pretty predominant in a lot of women around depression and anxiety and just coming to grips with what has happened in their lives."

Ms Augerinos said it was important to listen to women's stories and the abuse needed to stop.

"The fact that we know one of the biggest cohorts of groups that are going to experience homelessness and housing distress in the future and older, single women," she said.

"They're often women who have escaped family and domestic violence, they're women who perhaps haven't been in the workforce, they don't have a build up of things like superannuation or other savings to fall back on.

"It's common knowledge that even without a family violence situation women who separate and divorce are often financially worse off than their male ex-partner.

"This study is really just starting to verify what we know and what we're seeing among our client group.

"Women telling their stories and providing some rich detail and data about what that experience is is useful for us but also it helps us to be able to lobby government to say we need to be doing more to assist women and children who are leaving these violent situations." hannah.knight@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Certainly, the impacts around financial impacts on women and children are pretty significant. - Margaret Augerinos

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