Key messages

  • Racism is damaging to both the mental and physical health of Victorians.
  • Aboriginal Victorians and Victorians who speak a language other than English at home, but are not of Northern European or North American origin, are most likely to experience racism.
  • Victorian adults who frequently experience racism are almost five times more likely than those who do not experience racism to have poor mental health.
  • Victorian adults who frequently experience racism are 2.5 times more likely than those who do not experience racism to have poor physical health.

Respondents of the 2014 Victorian Population Health Survey were asked the question "In the last 12 months, have you experienced discrimination or been treated unfairly because of your racial, ethnic, cultural, or religious background?" The response to this question formed the basis of this report. The report describes the prevalence of racism among adults aged 18 years and older across Victoria by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic location, socioeconomic status, and health status.

The report confirms the international literature that consistently shows that experiencing racism is damaging not only to mental health but also to physical health. The findings of this report support the multicultural policy launched by the Victorian Government on February 19 2017. Victorian. And proud of it states that "Everyone has a responsibility to promote inclusion and participation and to reject exclusion, racism and all forms of violence. A society free of discrimination is better able to tackle problems like economic and social disengagement and improve health and wellbeing for all."

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