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:

  • 1 in 3 Australian children experience physical abuse (32 per cent)
  • 1 in 4 Australian children experience sexual abuse (28.5 per cent)
  • 3 in 10 Australian children experience emotional abuse (30.9 per cent); and
  • 4 in 10 Australian children 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

Image: One in three Australian children experience physical abuse. (Pexels: Ksenia Chernaya)

Produced By: Netta Finney

Featured In Story: Sharon – Victim/survivor of childhood domestic violence and sexual abuse, and family support worker, and Professor Daryl Higgins – Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies at Australian Catholic University

First aired on The Wire, Friday 14 April 2023