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How discrimination affects violence

2 minute read

Power imbalances that create discrimination can mean that some women are disproportionately affected by violenceface additional barriers to reporting violence and accessing support and may be repeatedly targeted. 

Women who are disproportionately affected by violence include:  

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women 
  • Migrant and refugee women 
  • Women living with disability 
  • LGBTIQ+ women 
  • Older women

Why are some women disproportionately affected by violence?

Violence against women experiencing multiple forms of discrimination or oppression is more likely to be condoned. For example, by being written off as ‘part of their culture’, justified in religious texts, or excused because a carer is experiencing ‘carer stress’. 

Some women are more likely to be impacted by men’s control of decision making which limits their independence. For example, through lack of equal access to education and work opportunities, or justification of men’s control over decision making as ‘just part of their culture’.

Women who face multiple forms of discrimination and oppression are often stereotyped. For example, they may be labelled as ‘loud, aggressive drug-users’, considered asexual because of age or disability, or have violence against them normalised and attributed to disadvantage.

Male peer relations that emphasise aggression can impact some women more than othersFor example, women from immigrant backgrounds can be eroticised, fetishised or targeted for sex tourism or racist pornography.

While it is important that the media understand how discrimination and oppression can exacerbate women’s experiences of violence, this does not mean blaming women’s culture, sexuality, work choices, disability or other factors. 

What's next?

The media’s role in preventing violence against women