Prevalence of gender violence remains alarming, says CQUni Alumnus

Published:06 August 2019

CQUni Communication graduate Ana Stevenson has co-edited a new book on 'Gender Violence in Australia: Historical Perspectives'.

Despite social and economic advances in the status of women since the 1970s, the prevalence of gender violence remains alarming.

That's according to CQUniversity Alumnus Dr Ana Stevenson who has co-edited a new book titled Gender Violence in Australia: Historical Perspectives (published by Monash University).

Dr Stevenson will deliver a guest lecture on her book from Noon - 1 pm on Wednesday 21 August at the CQUniversity Rockhampton North campus, Building 29/G.07, with zoom videoconference links to CQUni Mackay City campus (1.04).

Dr Stevenson completed a Bachelor of Communication (with Distinction) through CQUniversity, graduating in 2008, before progressing to a PhD with The University of Queensland.

She has been working as an academic in the United States and South Africa in recent years, specialising in the history of feminism, but is returning to Australia this month to promote the new book.

Dr Stevenson says the histories presented in the new book indicate exactly where these violent behaviours against women come from and how they have been rationalised over time, offering an important resource for addressing what amounts to a widespread, persistent, and urgent social problem.

"A third of all women in Australia have been assaulted physically; a fifth of all women have been assaulted sexually," Dr Stevenson says.

"Intimate partner violence is significantly more prevalent in Australia than in Western Europe or North America.

"One woman each week is murdered by an intimate partner, and recent research suggests that nearly 40 per cent of all women
who suicide have a history of domestic or family violence. Domestic violence is a precipitating factor in a third of all homelessness.

"The resulting strain on government services and lost productivity means that family violence has been estimated as costing the Australian economy around $13.6 billion a year."

Dr Stevenson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Earlier this year, she was awarded the W. Turrentine Jackson (Article) Prize by the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and the Covert Award in Mass Communication History by the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

She will soon publish another book, The Woman as Slave in Nineteenth-Century American Social Movements, through Palgrave Macmillan.

* Gender Violence in Australia: Historical Perspectives was launched in July 2019 at the Australian Historical Association Conference at the University of Southern Queensland and will have its second launch on 29 August 2019 at the University of Technology Sydney.