Gambling and Violence Against Women

Family violence is three times more likely to occur in families in which there is significant harm from gambling than in families with no harm from gambling.

Are you looking for resources on this topic? Have a look at our Gambling and Violence against Women Resources page.

What We Do

WHIN’s work in this area focuses on understanding the link between gambling and violence against women through the use of a gendered approach. The work strives to increase the safety of women experiencing violence from male partners and reduce harm from gambling. WHIN’s continuing work on gambling and violence against women was initially prompted by our lead partnership in the project ‘Increasing the Odds for Safety and Respect’ project, discussed below.

‘Increasing the Odds for Safety and Respect’ Project

This now-completed, harm prevention project brought a gendered approach to the link between gambling and family violence, with a view to increasing the safety of women experiencing violence from male partners and reducing harm from gambling.

The project was funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and delivered in association with Women’s Health East and Inner North East Primary Care Partnership. The project evolved from a growing recognition that family violence is more likely to occur in families in which there is significant harm from gambling than in families in which there is no harm from gambling. Recent research also indicated that people who have gambling problems are more likely than people without gambling problems to be victims and perpetrators of family violence. The link between these issues is acknowledged within Australian and international literature but was not yet well understood, nor comprehensively addressed at the prevention or response levels.

The ‘Increasing the Odds for Safety and Respect’ team worked with family violence service Gambler’s Help and other health and human services to share knowledge about the link between family violence and gambling related harm and to strengthen risk assessment mechanisms, referral pathways and service delivery across these sectors. The project focused on applying a public health approach to the coexistence of family violence and gambling related harm and to applying a primary prevention focus to the project deliverables. Key deliverables of the project included: a two day training course ‘Identifying and Responding to Family Violence’ with a particular focus on delivery to Gambler’s Help therapeutic counsellors and financial counsellors; education sessions for family violence service providers to raise their understanding of gambling related harm; awareness raising about the link between these issues within the community and service sectors; and the development of resources to facilitate these awareness raising and training activities including a DVD and accompanying resource notes to help guide trainers from both the gambling and family violence counselling fields, an issues paper and a discussion paper and one-pager for local government. These resources can all be found in our resources section of the website.

WHIN’s work on gambling and violence against women continues in 2018 and beyond with further training for counsellors in the family violence and gamblers’ help sectors.