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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

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About ANROWS

ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

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To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


RP.20.03

Adolescent family violence in Australia: A national study of prevalence, use of and exposure to violence, and support needs for young people

Project length
15 months


There is increasing recognition across Australia and internationally of the significant harms and impacts of adolescent family violence (AFV), also known as adolescent violence in the home (AVITH). AFV refers to the use of family violence (including physical, emotional, psychological, verbal, financial and/or sexual abuse) by a young person against their parent, carer, sibling or other family member within the home (Royal Commission into Family Violence, 2016).

While research in this area has developed in recent years, there remain significant gaps in current understanding of this form of family violence. Specifically, there is no research within Australia or internationally that examines the prevalence, nature and responses to AFV from the perspective of young people.


Research aim/s

This project aims to:

  1. create a robust prevalence database on the use of family violence by young people within the home, including among marginalised community groups
  2. understand the nature of family violence used by young people within the home
  3. examine the degree to which young people who use violence within the home have been exposed to different forms of family violence throughout childhood
  4. generate new insights and recommendations into support needs for young people using family violence.

Methods

This project will use a nationally representative prevalence survey of young Australians aged 16 to 18 years. The survey instrument will be designed to:

  • create a robust dataset for measuring the prevalence of AFV in Australia
  • facilitate better understanding of AFV alongside an understanding of DFV exposure during childhood
  • generate new knowledge on current service options and support needs among this cohort.

The survey will consist of a series of demographic, quantitative and qualitative questions.


Significance

The project will establish the first Australian community-based prevalence data for AFV. The in-depth evidence to be gained on the nature of violence used by young people within the home as well as exposure to DFV during childhood will ensure, for the first time, that policymakers across Australia have the evidence required to design tailored, client-centred responses to different communities of young people using and exposed to DFV. This evidence will be contextualised with an understanding of young people’s experiences accessing supports and their expressed service needs. Importantly, the survey sample will be representative of the diverse Australian community, ensuring the findings include insights into experiences and service needs of marginalised young people. Findings will inform policy decisions on the number and type of support services needed and allocation of resources for responding to AFV.


Researchers

Project lead

Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Director, Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Monash University

Research team

Associate Professor Silke Meyer, Deputy Director, Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Monash University

Professor JaneMaree Maher, Professor of Sociology, Monash University

Associate Professor Steven Robert, Associate Professor of Sociology, Monash University

Dr Kathryn Benier, Lecturer in Criminology, Monash University

Research partners

This project will be supported by an expert advisory board, including current Commissioners for Children and Young People, advocates for children and young people, and international experts.

Budget

$167,652

This project is funded by Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments under ANROWS’s 2020–2022 Core Grant round.

See also

LINK

Adolescent family violence in Australia:
A national study of prevalence, use of and exposure to violence, and support needs for young people

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Research

Core research

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COLLECTION

Children, young people and parenting

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SUPPORT

Support directory

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