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1 in 3 women beaten by partner

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 11:24 am Fri 26th November 2004

One in three women will face violence from their partners in their lifetime, and the experience will cause long-term health problems, a study has found.

The University of Auckland study suggests New Zealand has a higher domestic violence rate than the United States of America or Australia.

A second study, by Auckland University of Technology (AUT) researchers, published yesterday found that 44 per cent of women interviewed at an Auckland emergency ward had suffered partner violence in their lives, and one in five had been victims of partner violence in the past year. The statistics have prompted fresh pleas for early intervention by doctors.

The first study involved 2855 women aged 18 to 64 in Auckland and Waikato. It found 15 per cent of women had suffered physical abuse from someone they are not in a relationship with, while 10 per cent will face sexual violence from a man they are not involved with.

“We teach women to fear walking into dark alleys and (violence) by strangers, but the biggest risk for women is violence from their partners,” said researcher Dr Janet Fanslow.

“These are very worrying statistics. As men we should be ashamed,” said Brian Gardner, national manager of the National Network of Stopping Violence Services.

“As a man in New Zealand I feel sad and ashamed that so many men are beating, abusing and killing their partners. That’s not how to support and care for those close to us.”

Christchurch Women’s Refuge manager Annette Gillespie said … it was important to remember that physical abuse also included things such as pinching, restraining, pulling and flicking. “And these will be surrounded by a whole lot of other abusive tactics.”


  1. Ah Yes Mr Gardner, Ho hum.
    How gullible can a man be?
    Miniscule sample groups, self selected respondants and ideologically designed femthink questionaires leading to the usual misandrist hatethink.
    Personally I’m ASHAMED AND SAD to have to confront such garbage touted by the likes of Mr Gardener.
    Methinks such ‘research’ (sic) only amounts to yet another false allegation against men (what’s new? – Zealand) It creates needlessly upset amongst the naively gullible, and serves the interests of those in the abuse industry who want a huge self serving gravy train without looking too closely at so called social science ‘research’ on domestic violence.
    I know I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but I’d love it if some way this message got through to the likes of Mr Gardner. For I’m mightily tired of hearing what sounds to me like sanctimonious gender-feminist inspired claptrap.

    Comment by Stephen — Fri 26th November 2004 @ 6:27 pm

  2. I personally would like to see the report in raw detail. Does anyone know how we can get a hold of a copy of the document to analyse the findings?

    Comment by tony f — Fri 26th November 2004 @ 8:41 pm

  3. here’s the abstract for the more scientific of the surveys. I don’t see anything to fault in the method here, & it is a large sample.

    Violence against women in New Zealand: prevalence and health consequences
    Janet Fanslow, Elizabeth Robinson


    This study reports on a large cross-sectional study of violence against women in New Zealand, and outlines the health consequences associated with intimate partner violence (IPV).

    The study population was women aged 18—64 years in Auckland and north Waikato. A population-based cluster-sampling scheme was used, with face-to-face interviews with one randomly selected woman from each household. Analyses included calculation of prevalence rates and logistic regression models to determine associations.

    The overall response rate was 66.9%, n=2,855. Fifteen percent of participants in Auckland and 17% in the north Waikato reported at least one act of physical violence inflicted by non-partners in their lifetime. Sexual violence by non-partners was reported by 9% and 12% of women in Auckland and Waikato respectively. Among ever-partnered women, 33% in Auckland and 39% in Waikato had experienced at least one act of physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner. Victims of IPV were two times more likely to have visited a healthcare provider in the previous 4 weeks. IPV was significantly associated with current health effects, including: self-perceived poor health, physical health problems (eg, pain), and mental health problems (eg, suicide attempts).

    The high prevalence of violence and its pervasive association with a wide range of physical and mental health effects suggest that it warrants consideration as a significant factor underpinning ill-health in women. Prevention efforts must concentrate not only on reducing the perpetration of violence against women, in particular IPV, but also on developing and sustaining appropriate responses to victims of violence within the health system

    and here is further comment from the university site:
    A team of 40 interviewers surveyed women in Auckland and Waikato for the study, which was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. All interviews were conducted in private in the woman’s own home.

    Comment by robert — Sun 28th November 2004 @ 5:51 pm

  4. Robert, the links u have supplied give a rather superficial summary of the report. I want to see interview methods, interview questions, how the statistics were calculated etc. I clicked on the ‘full text’ button but got the message ‘invite only’. Even then, I doubt if the full text version has the info I am interested in.

    Comment by tony f — Mon 29th November 2004 @ 5:06 pm

  5. the full report is available for free @ the nzma after 6 months, but if you are too impatient you can subscribe (for a fee) for just one month, otherwise ask your doctor if they have a copy next time you go…?

    Comment by robert — Mon 29th November 2004 @ 6:26 pm

  6. Whaichever way you cut it 2,885 women questioned out of a total cohort group in Auckland and North Waikato of about 350,000 (a conservative estimate) is less than 1% of that female population. That HARDLY seems to me what the authors claim – a large cross sectional study. Duh!
    I note also the research was carried out by those with a vested interest in getting more funding for the abuse industry.
    And whoopdedoo! the report states that 15% in Waikato and 17% in Auckland had experienced violence from a non- partner during thier lifetime.
    Jeez, I would have thought EVERYONE would have at least once in thier lifetimes fallen foul of a schoolyard bully, drunk at a party, irate neighbour, ………..etc
    Fill in your own nouns here folks.

    Pitiful, misandrist nonsense mascerading as science.

    Comment by Stephen — Wed 1st December 2004 @ 1:56 am

  7. given that 1000 people are normally polled to guage the views of more than 2000000 voters, it seems that 2 – 3 thousand is a huge sample to represent only half the adult population. the research was carried out by a university, you might have meant that the funding was from those with a vested interest. if so this seems to be the only basis you have as yet for querying the study. you might do better to wait until you have read the full study before rubbishing it so heartily.

    Comment by robert — Wed 1st December 2004 @ 4:23 pm

  8. Robert.
    Regardless of what you say I still believe that less than 1% of a cohort is a ludicrously small sample to make such claims as 1 in 3 women are abused! and that it’s authors Janet and Elizabeth along with several others who’ve weighed in behind them do indeed have a vested interest in such claims. How the abuse industry likes to inflate itself!
    And whoopee that it was done by a university. So what! I’ve seen more shonky ideologically driven so called ‘research’ coming out of universities in NZ and elsewhere over the last 20 odd years than I care to remember.

    Comment by Stephen — Wed 1st December 2004 @ 5:09 pm

  9. you may be right that there is a problem with the study but so far your case seems to rest on the fact that a sample with a 6 times larger percentage of the population than is normal in surveys in nz is “small” and that after publication of the results they have been backed or used by other groups with a vested interest, & that universities aren’t always as academically/scientifically rigourous as they should be. now you might be right that there is something wrong with the study, but if you hope to convince the general public, (& i suppose you do), you will have to come up with something a whole lot stronger than that.

    Comment by robert — Thu 2nd December 2004 @ 4:53 pm

  10. Yes unfortunately the general public can be lured by such which claims to be ‘large scale study’, especially when much of the media is now one of the three pillars of the lace curtain.
    I hope you can see therefore why I’m so quick to be condemning. I hope you can appreciate my urgency to counter-comment it. Such media broadscaling which characterises men as brutal seems to me very unhealthy socially devisive and thus damages EVERYONE.

    Comment by Stephen — Thu 2nd December 2004 @ 11:14 pm

  11. since more than half of respondents had not been either physically or sexually abused i would argue that broadcasting these results actually characterises men as gentle.

    but i agree it would be damaging to broadcast an inflated figure for the proportion of violent men, but the fact is we don’t know yet that the figure is inflated. i strongly recommend you obtain the full study report from nzma, they do make a 1-month subscription available, & base any criticism you make, on what happened in the interviews, NOT on the sample size, which was, in context, very large & such as to provide a very high degree of confidence. trying to argue against the discipline of statistics would weaken the standing of your cause.

    Comment by robert — Fri 3rd December 2004 @ 11:09 am

  12. Sorry Robert. Characterising men as gentle fits nowhere in my experience of living and studying NZ society over the last 20 odd years. Conversely I’ve extensive experince of an environment where men have been grossly and unfairly characterised as the only sex that perpetratres violence.
    Given that experience I’m chilled with fear therefore seeing even the abstract for a study which advances the claim that 1 in 3 adult NZ women have been subject to violence. For it seems to me therefore that in an environment whereby men are grossly characterised as perpetrators of violence and women as victims of such that the claims of the study creates further perversive inference which further damages male-female relationships.

    Comment by Stephen — Fri 3rd December 2004 @ 4:10 pm

  13. I’m seeing that “1 in 3” business popping up everywhere in the past few weeks. I’ve begun to wonder if maybe there isn’t some centralized bureau of misinformation somewhere that chooses what kind of nonsense to disseminate on a month-by-month basis.

    You could only arrive at a conclusion of 1 in 3 by some bizarre definition.

    Comment by Trudy W. Schuett — Sun 5th December 2004 @ 11:40 pm

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