On Friday September 7, 2018 the Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, based at HMRI, hosted a day-long seminar that focussed on the long-term health and wellbeing consequences of abuse against women.
Researchers, frontline workers and policy makers gathered to discuss recognising and rectifying the long-term consequences of abuse.
Jenny Aitchison, NSW MP and Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, opened the event, which was attended by representatives from government departments, non-government organisations including women’s health centres and refuges, legal practitioners, and researchers from multiple disciplines.
Up to one in two Australian women have lived with abuse and will live with the consequences of that abuse for many years.
“Many women still have a health deficit 16 years later,” seminar organiser Professor Deb Loxton said. “We need to work on what we can do to improve these women’s quality of life.”
The purpose of the seminar was to shine a light on these consequences, in order to better understand how abuse continues to impact women’s health, even after abuse has ceased.
The ways in which women might be helped to fully recover from abuse were discussed, with a range of innovative ideas presented.
The day concluded with a discussion which saw the attendees form a network, which will continue the discussions that were started at the seminar and workshop.
* Professor Deborah Loxton is co-director of the University of Newcastle Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing and Deputy Director of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH). She researches in conjunction with HMRI’s Public Health Program.