Emotional abuse

An estimated 41% of Australian adults who have experienced emotional abuse by a current or previous partner since the age of 15 have disability.

Adults with disability are more likely than those without to have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous partner (Figure 1). After the age of 15, an estimated:

  • 1 in 4 (26% or 1.5 million) adults with disability have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous partner, compared with 1 in 5 (17% or 2.1 million) without disability
  • 1 in 3 (32%) women with disability have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous partner, compared with 19% of women without disability
  • 1 in 5 (20%) men with disability have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous partner, compared with 14% of men without disability.
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Adults with disability are more likely than those without to have experienced emotional abuse. Adults with disability who were emotionally abused after the age of 15, by their most recently emotionally abusive previous partner, are more likely, than those without disability, to report they experienced:

  • financial abuse—50% with disability, compared with 37% without disability
  • deprivation of basic needs such as food, shelter, sleep or assistive aids—14% with disability, compared with 8%
  • insults intended to cause shame or humiliation—56% with disability, compared with 46% (AIHW 2019).

Adults with disability who have experienced emotional abuse are more likely to experience emotional abuse from multiple previous partners. Almost 1 in 4 (24%) of adults with disability, who have experienced emotional abuse from a previous partner after the age of 15, experienced such abuse from more than 1 partner, compared with 16% without disability (AIHW 2019).

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2017. Microdata: personal safety, Australia, 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. AIHW analysis of detailed microdata in DataLab.

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2019. Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019. Cat. no. FDV 3. Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-australia-2019/contents/table-of-contents

Alternative text for Emotional abuse

Figure 1

Bar chart showing prevalence of emotional abuse by a partner for men, women and all adults, with and without disability. The reader can select to display the chart by sex and by disability status. The chart shows women with severe or profound disability are more likely (39%) to experience emotional abuse by a current or previous partner than women with other disability (30%). Back to figure 1