Why are our prisons full of domestic violence victims?

Consider this: Over the past decade, the total number of people behind bars in Australia has skyrocketed, rising by almost 40 per cent since 2013, and 56 per cent since 2008, according to ABS data released earlier this month.

But while men continue to make up the majority of the prison population (92 per cent), the number of women being incarcerated is increasing at a significantly higher rate: a staggering 85 per cent over the past 10 years. Indigenous women account for much of that growth.

Behind these figures, though, is one often-overlooked fact: an overwhelming majority of women in prison are victims of domestic violence, with evidence suggesting between 70 per cent and 90 per cent of incarcerated women have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused as children or adults — an experience experts say frequently leads to their offending and criminalisation.

Source: Why are our prisons full of domestic violence victims? – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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