4906.0 - Personal Safety, Australia, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/11/2017   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


EXPERIENCE OF ABUSE BEFORE THE AGE OF 15

The 2016 Personal Safety Survey (PSS) collected information about men’s and women’s experiences of physical and/or sexual abuse before the age of 15 years by any adult (male or female), including the person’s parents.

Physical abuse includes any deliberate physical injury (including bruises) inflicted upon a child (under the age of 15 years) by an adult. It excludes discipline that accidentally resulted in injury, emotional abuse, and physical abuse by someone under the age of 18.

Sexual abuse includes any act by an adult involving a child (under the age of 15 years) in sexual activity beyond their understanding or contrary to currently accepted community standards. It excludes emotional abuse and sexual abuse by someone under the age of 18.

For more information on the collection of Abuse before the age of 15 data, including the level of refusal for this topic, refer to the Abuse before the Age of 15 page of the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).

PREVALENCE OF EXPERIENCE OF ABUSE BEFORE THE AGE OF 15 Endnote 1

Over one in ten Australians aged 18 years and over (13% or 2.5 million) have experienced abuse before the age of 15. This includes an estimated 1.6 million people (8.5%) who experienced physical abuse and 1.4 million (7.7%) who experienced sexual abuse. Refer to Table 31.

Around one in six women (16% or 1.5 million) and just over one in ten men (11% or 991,600) experienced abuse before the age of 15.

Men’s experience of abuse before the age of 15 Endnote 2

Of the men that experienced abuse before the age of 15, 94% (929,100) reported experiencing abuse by someone known to them. The proportion of men that experienced abuse by someone known to them was higher for sexual abuse (98% or 715,300) than for physical abuse (84% or 343,700).

Men who experienced sexual abuse before the age of 15 reported that the most common perpetrator type was a non-familial known person (i.e. a known person that wasn’t a family member/relative/in-law), with nearly two-thirds of sexually abused men (65% or 268,500) experiencing abuse by this perpetrator type.

Men who experienced physical abuse before the age of 15 reported that the most common perpetrator type was a parent (including step parents), with approximately three in every four physically abused men (73% or 534,100) experiencing abuse by this perpetrator type.

Graph Image for MEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER WHO EXPERIENCED ABUSE BEFORE AGE OF 15, Type of abuse by relationship to perpetrator(s)(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Men may have experienced abuse by multiple types of perpetrators or multiple types of abuse. Therefore components cannot be summed to obtain totals. (b) Includes step-parents. (c) Includes step-siblings. (d) Includes foster carer or other person associated with care placement, family friend, acquaintance/neighbour, doctor or other health professional, teacher, other school related staff, childcare worker, in-home care educator or carer, recreational leader, priest/minister/rabbi/nun/other person associated with place of worship, staff in a children's home/orphanage, corrective services personnel, and other known person.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



Women’s experience of abuse before the age of 15 Endnote 2

Of the women who experienced abuse before the age of 15, 94% (1.4 million) reported experiencing abuse by someone known to them. The proportion of women that experienced abuse by someone known to them was higher for physical abuse (97% or 803,100) than for sexual abuse (91% or 907,300).

Women who experienced sexual abuse before the age of 15 reported that the most common perpetrator type was a non-familial known person (i.e. a known person that wasn’t a family member/relative/in-law), with just under half of sexually abused women (47% or 468,400) experiencing abuse by this perpetrator type.

Women who experienced physical abuse before the age of 15 reported that the most common perpetrator type was a parent (including step parents), with four in every five physically abused women (79% or 654,600) experiencing abuse by this perpetrator type.

Graph Image for WOMEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER WHO EXPERIENCED ABUSE BEFORE AGE OF 15, Type of abuse by relationship to perpetrator(s)(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Women may have experienced abuse by multiple types of perpetrators or multiple types of abuse. Therefore components cannot be summed to obtain totals. (b) Includes step-parents. (c) Includes step-siblings. (d) Includes foster carer or other person associated with care placement, family friend, acquaintance/neighbour, doctor or other health professional, teacher, other school related staff, childcare worker, in-home care educator or carer, recreational leader, priest/minister/rabbi/nun/other person associated with place of worship, staff in a children's home/orphanage, corrective services personnel, and other known person.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



EXPERIENCE OF ABUSE AND WITNESSING VIOLENCE BEFORE THE AGE OF 15 BY WHETHER EXPERIENCED PARTNER VIOLENCE SINCE THE AGE OF 15 Endnote 3

This section examines the relationship between the respondent’s experiences before the age of 15, including abuse by an adult and the witnessing of violence against a parent, and whether the respondent subsequently experienced partner violence after the age of 15.

The 2016 PSS asked respondents if they ever heard or saw violence being directed at one parent by their partner before the age of 15.

‘Mother’ includes step mothers and female guardians or care-givers. ‘Partner’ includes the person’s father/stepfather, and the mother’s boyfriend or same-sex partner.

‘Father’ includes step fathers and male guardians or care-givers. ‘Partner’ includes the person’s mother/stepmother, and the father’s girlfriend or same-sex partner.

For this section, witnessing violence referred to physical assault only. In partner violence since the age of 15 however, violence refers to physical and/or sexual violence. Refer to the Glossary for the definition of physical assault.

Men’s experience of abuse and witnessing violence before the age of 15 by whether experienced partner violence since the age of 15

Experienced abuse before the age of 15

Around one in six men who experienced abuse before the age of 15 experienced partner violence as an adult (15% or 152,600). Men who experienced abuse before the age of 15 were three times more likely to experience partner violence as an adult than men who had not experienced abuse before the age of 15 (15% compared to 4.7%). Refer to Table 30.

Graph Image for MEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER, Whether experienced abuse(a), by whether experienced partner violence(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Experienced physical and/or sexual abuse before the age of 15. (b) Experienced violence by a current and/or previous partner since the age of 15.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



Witnessed violence towards a parent by a partner before the age of 15

One in ten men witnessed violence towards their mother by a partner before the age of 15 (10% or 896,700). Endnote 4 These men were at least twice as likely to experience partner violence (after the age of 15) than men who had not witnessed violence towards their mother by a partner (14% compared to 5.2%). Refer to Table 30.

One in twenty-five men witnessed violence towards their father by a partner before the age of 15 (4.2% or 380,000). Endnote 4 These men were almost four times as likely to experience partner violence (after the age of 15) than males who had not witnessed violence towards their father by a partner (20% compared to 5.5%).

Graph Image for MEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER, Whether witnessed violence towards mother(a) by whether experienced partner violence(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Witnessed violence towards mother by a partner before the age of 15. (b) Experienced violence by a current and/or previous partner since the age of 15.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



Graph Image for MEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER, Whether witnessed violence towards father(a) by whether experienced partner violence(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Witnessed violence towards father by a partner before the age of 15. (b) Experienced violence by a current and/or previous partner since the age of 15.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



Women’s experience of abuse and witnessing violence before the age of 15 by whether experienced partner violence since the age of 15

Experienced abuse before the age of 15

Around one in three women who experienced abuse before the age of 15 experienced partner violence as an adult (36% or 535,800). These women were nearly three times more likely to experience partner violence as an adult than women who had not experienced abuse before the age of 15 (36% compared to 13% or 989,400). Refer to Table 30.

Graph Image for WOMEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER, Whether experienced abuse(a) by whether experienced partner violence(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Experienced physical and/or sexual abuse before the age of 15. (b) Experienced violence by a current and/or previous partner since the age of 15.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



Witnessed violence towards a parent by a partner before the age of 15

One in eight women witnessed violence towards their mother by a partner before the age of 15 (13% or 1.2 million). Endnote 4 These women were more than twice as likely to experience partner violence (after the age of 15) than women who had not witnessed violence towards their mother by a partner (34% compared to 15%). Refer to Table 30.

One in twenty women witnessed violence towards their father by a partner before the age of 15 (4.7% or 440,900). Endnote 4 These women were nearly twice as likely to experience partner violence as an adult than women who had not witnessed violence towards their father by a partner (31% compared to 17%).

Graph Image for WOMEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER, Whether witnessed violence towards mother(a) by whether experienced partner violence(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Witnessed violence towards mother by a partner before the age of 15. (b) Experienced violence by a current and/or previous partner since the age of 15.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



Graph Image for WOMEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER, Whether witnessed violence towards father(a) by whether experienced partner violence(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Witnessed violence towards father by a partner before the age of 15. (b) Experienced violence by a current and/or previous partner since the age of 15.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



ENDNOTES

Endnote 1

Current rates of child abuse cannot be determined in the PSS as the survey only interviews persons aged 18 years and over. For more information, refer to Abuse before the Age of 15 page of the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).

Endnote 2

‘Relationship to perpetrator’ proportions provided in this section are produced from published figures in Table 31.

Endnote 3

‘Partner violence since the age of 15’ refers to any incident of sexual assault, sexual threat, physical assault or physical threat by a person the respondent lives with, or lived with at some point, in a married or de facto relationship. Refer to the Glossary for further information on the definitions of violence.

Endnote 4

‘Whether witnessed violence against parents’ prevalence proportions are produced from published figures in Table 30.