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Adolescent family violence in Australia: A national study of service and support needs for young people who use family violence

This is the second report published as part of a larger project examining adolescent family violence (AFV) in Australia, and takes as its focus the support needs for young people (aged 16 to 20) who use this type of violence. 

This report sheds light on the help-seeking experiences of young people using AFV, for whom only limited avenues for effective support currently exist. The report draws on the voices of more than 1,000 young people who self-reported using violence in the home.

These young people identified a number of support needs related to their use of violence, including a safe space or place; someone to talk to; professional support; education for parents and carers on abusive behaviours and their impact, and the intergenerational cycle of violence; a supportive school environment (including school staff); and a supportive and protective mother. They spoke often about disclosures of using violence being ignored, and articulated a need for trusted adults – including teachers – to respond more appropriately and consistently.

The report pays particular attention to the support needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, young people from non-English-speaking backgrounds, young people with disability, gender-diverse young people, and young people with diverse sexual identities.

The findings contained in this report, when considered alongside the findings of the first report stemming from the larger project, reinforce the need for young people using AFV to be seen and responded to as victims and survivors of DFV themselves, in order to reduce the risk of intergenerational violence, minimise the impacts of AFV on affected family members, and ensure that DFV-related trauma experienced by young people is addressed.



Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS research reports series. ANROWS research reports are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.


Director, Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Monash University
Associate Professor of Criminology, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

Leneen Forde Chair of Child and Family Research, Griffith University

Research Manager, Violence against Women and Children Research Program, Australian Institute of Criminology

Professor, Centre for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, Sociology, Monash University

Professor of Education and Social Justice, Monash University

ISBN: 978-1-922645-97-5 (paperback) | 978-1-922645-47-0 (PDF
68 pp.

Suggested citation

Fitz-Gibbon, K., Meyer, S., Boxall, H., Maher, J., & Roberts, S. (2022). Adolescent family violence in Australia: A national study of service and support needs for young people who use family violence (Research report, 18/2022). ANROWS.

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