One in four Australian children sexually abused: research

One in three Australian children experience physical abuse.

Content warning: This story discusses child sexual abuse and may distress some people.

A new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia has identified the widespread scope of child maltreatment, highlighting the need for a nationally coordinated response.

Key findings about Australian children

  • 1 in 3 experience physical abuse (32 per cent)
  • 1 in 4 experience sexual abuse (28.5 per cent)
  • 3 in 10 experience emotional abuse (30.9 per cent); and
  • 4 in 10 experience exposure to domestic violence (39.6 per cent).

The Australian Child Maltreatment Study was first to identify the nationwide prevalence and nature of five forms of child maltreatment: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, neglect and exposure to domestic violence. 

The study also looked at associated mental health disorders and health risk behaviours throughout life.

If this story raises issues for you, please call:

Blue Knot: 1300 657 380 

1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

13 YARN: 13 92 76

Lifeline: 13 11 14

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