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One quarter of young people in Australia witness domestic violence


A study of 5,000 Australians aged between 12 and 20 has found that up to one quarter have witnessed physical domestic violence against their mother or stepmother. In the study, physical domestic violence was defined as including 'threw something at', 'tried to hit', 'hit in defence', 'hit when unprovoked', 'threatened with knife or gun' and 'used knife or gun'. The study is the largest research project of its kind in Australia. It was undertaken by the Crime Research Centre at the University of Western Australia and NFO Donovan Research, and funded by National Crime Prevention and the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs. The study also identifies attitudes towards violence among young people and the relationship between socioeconomic status, age, gender, Indigenous status and history of domestic violence. "Witnessing parental domestic violence has emerged as the strongest predictor of perpetration of violence in young people's own intimate relationships" (p. 5).

Percentage of young Australians who witnessed one of seven physical forms of violence against their mother/stepmother, by a male partner



  • Indermaur, D. 2001, "Young Australians and Domestic Violence", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 195, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

Cite article

2001. One quarter of young people in Australia witness domestic violence. Crime facts info no. 8. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. https://aic.gov.au/publications/cfi/cfi008