Improving Safety Of Psychiatric Wards For Women A Crucial Step

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5th October 2010, 12:39pm - Views: 1027

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Women’s Health Victoria Reg. No A0029795W ABN 33365284944

Level 8, 255 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC Australia 3000


Postal Address GPO Box 1160, Melbourne VIC Australia 3001

Media Release

Tuesday 5th October, 2010

Improving safety of psychiatric wards for women a crucial step 

Victorian women’s health policy experts and advocates have today commended the

Coalition’s $4m promise to improve safety for women in psychiatric care. 

Executive Director of Women’s Health Victoria, Ms Marilyn Beaumont, said that segregation

and designated women’s space had been part of their ten point plan to improve women’s

health in the state.


“The fact that women can face harassment, assault and rape in an institution of care has to be

addressed by giving women the tools and protection to receive treatment without that

threat,” Ms. Beaumont said. 

“Just as we have seen recent reports of doctors violating the patient-doctor relationship,

women in psychiatric care are even less equipped to deal with the threat of violence and

violence-supportive attitudes in their environment.

“The Coalition has shown important initiative in the area of mental health and women’s

health more broadly, and we look forward to hearing more from Victoria’s main parties at

our Women’s Health Forum on Monday 11th October, where we will be hearing policies and

platforms that address core issues from our ten point plan.

“Research has shown that the reporting of sexual assaults by inpatients in psychiatric care is

as low as 50 percent, due to negative responses from mental health providers. This proposal

recognises the need to support women and work towards minimising the risk of assault.

“It is clear we need to address women’s health in a way that supports them to recover and

regain their health in a safe and respectful environment. The Coalition’s plan is a step in the

right direction,” Ms Beaumont said. 

For more information on the Ten Point Plan for women’s health see:


For further information contact:

WHV Executive Director Marilyn Beaumont on 0419 597 516 or Media: Anaya Latter

on 0432 121 636

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