Gippsland women are suffering from alarming and disproportionate rates of gendered and family violence, Gippsland Women’s Health’s (GWH) first annual report card has found.

The report, a regional first, showed a concerning picture of the health of women in the community. The extensive consultation results from the 2022/23 period identified mental health, well-being and gendered violence as the most pressing concerns.

Gippsland women consistently reported they face a health care system that overwhelmingly does not acknowledge or understand the complexities and demands of women’s health and their lives.

Victoria Police crime reporting rates for the 2022 year found the Latrobe Valley was number one in the state for domestic violence reporting rates.

Gippsland continues to have the reputation of some of the highest rates of family violence crime reporting in Victoria.

Family violence rates sit at 184 women per 10,000 of population who have experienced it compared to the state average of 114 women per 10,000 of population.

In real terms, that equates to 500 women in Traralgon, 1500 across Latrobe Valley and 300 women in Sale and 900 across Wellington Shire.

The lack of access to health care services also concerned many women, as services such as General Practitioners (GPs), specialists and women’s health experts are not the easiest to access in Gippsland.

The report identified the affordability of services, travel time, lack of transport and isolation all contributed to the challenges in accessing services.

From the report, GWH found 79 per cent of women had to travel outside the region to access health care services in the past year.

However, some improvement in health accessibility was registered, with the roll out of two sexual health and reproductive hubs in Gippsland – one in East Gippsland and one in the Valley, but GWH said more could be done.

Latrobe and Wellington regions have higher than state average rates for births, teenage pregnancy alongside higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases – Chlamydia in particular.

The report card stated that the mental health and well-being status of Gippsland women remains in crisis, with gender inequity, violence, bushfires, floods and industry downturn, along with a shortage of services, having all contributed to the continuing challenges for women’s well-being.

Latrobe Valley currently has the highest rates of self-harm-related injury in Gippsland, far exceeding the state average.

In female participation in the workforce, the report found a higher level of part-time work and lower pay, with less time spent in the workforce resulting in some real income inequalities and superannuation gaps for women in Gippsland.

In some interesting insights, the report found only 25 per cent of women in Gippsland earn above the minimum wage, with 35 per cent of women in full-time employment.

As in the rest of the nation, homelessness was also a real issue for women in Gippsland.

Latrobe Valley has a homelessness rate for women of 207 per 10,000, East Gippsland 158 and with Wellington at 141 – disproportionately higher statistics than the state average.

Over the past 12 months, GWH has increased its efforts to improve women’s health outcomes. GWH now works with One Gippsland and the Gippsland Centre against Sexual Assault, alongside partnerships with AGL, Gippsland Food & Fibre, Men’s Shed, Youth Space and Rural Financial Service.

Chief executive of GWH, Kate Graham, said the organisation would continue to engage with the community to find solutions for the women in Gippsland.

“The solution can be found by Gippsland leaders, industries and communities having the courage, the respect and the humility to acknowledge and facilitate equal treatment, access, opportunity and distribution of resources for women and girls – it is after all a fundamental human right,” she said.

To read the full report head to