Children are harmed by someone they know and trust
- Statistics on Child Abuse & Neglect QLD


Child Abuse - Stopping it starts with us

By supporting parents, we are making a better future for our children
The Abused Child Trust has been invited to participate in this campaign along with a number of other well regarded agencies.
The purpose of the email is to draw your attention to the marie claire campaign, and ask that you visit the specially created website to demonstrate your support for improved child protection

Statistics on Child Abuse & Neglect

2001 - 2002


Queensland data


94% of abused children in Queensland are harmed by someone they know and trust22.


85% of abused children in Queensland are harmed by their natural parent22.


Latest statistics indicate that in 2001-02 the number of children abused and neglected24:



Increase over last year

Notified abuse & neglect



Substantiated abuse & neglect




In Queensland during 2001-02, the types of substantiated abuse were as follows24:

·            22%

physical abuse


·            41%


·            32%

emotional abuse


·            5%

sexual abuse


Family types involved in substantiated abuse and neglect24:

·                                   24%

two parent – natural families

·                                   22%

two parent – other families

·                                   42%

single female parent families

·                                    4%

single male parent families


In Queensland the rate of substantiated abuse and neglect for children under one year of age is 9.8 children in every 1000 children22.


In Queensland the rate of substantiated abuse and neglect for indigenous children is 9.9 children in every 1000 children, whereas the rate for other children is 5.4 children in every 1000 children22.


In Queensland, the source of notification of children substantiated for abuse and neglect are as follows24:

·                                   Parent


·                                   Police


·                                   Friend/neighbour


·                                   School personnel


·                                   Other relative


·                                   Subject child


·                                   Anonymous



In a Queensland study, 55% of males convicted of paedophilia report being sexually abused as a child20.



Australian data


In 2001-02 there were 137,938 children reported abused or neglected in Australia, an increase of 19.5% over the previous year24.


In 2001-02 there were 30,473 children substantiated as abused or neglected in Australia, an increase of 11.3% over the previous year24.



One in 170 Australian children under nine years of age is a substantiated victim of abuse and neglect1.


It is estimated that 80 to 85% of women in Australian prisons have been victims of incest or other types of abuse7.


The age at which Australians are at the greatest risk of homicide is birth to 1 year of age17.


Sixty five percent of the 316 children murdered in Australia over the past 10 years were victims of child abuse and neglect – killed in their own homes by their own parents21.


Percentage change in the number of substantiated victims of child abuse and neglect over previous year:











































Cost of child abuse and neglect


The overall cost of child abuse and neglect in South Australian in 1995/6was conservatively estimated at $354M.  This is more than the state earned in the same period from wine exports ($318M) or the export of wool and sheepskins ($239M)12.


The cost of child protection in the UK was estimated to be £735M annually13.


If child abuse and neglect resulted in 10% of the expenditure of the mental health services and correctional services in the UK, it was estimated conservatively that this would add another £348M, taking the annual cost of child abuse and neglect to over £1 billion13.




Other research data on abuse and neglect

64% of women psychiatric inpatients had been victims of abuse2.

44% of male psychiatric inpatients had been victims of physical abuse14.

76% of women and 72% of men with severe mental illness had been abused15.

The abused and neglected adolescent carries significantly greater risk factors for suicide than the non-abused adolescents3.


Homeless youth that have been physically or sexually abused were more at risk for attempting suicide (2 to 4 times) than non-abused homeless youth4.


Men least damaged by abuse were those abused by strangers in one-off offenses8.


Existing research has clearly established that abuse and neglect has a negative effect on child development9.


Childhood sexual abuse has a strong link with impaired adult psychological adjustment (depression, self-esteem, self-destructive behaviour, anxiety)10.


The odds of future delinquency, adult criminality overall, and arrest for a violent crime specifically, increased by around 40 per cent for people abused and neglected as children11.






1           Broadbent, A. & Bentley, R., 1997. Child abuse & neglect Australia 1995 – 1996. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

2           Read, J., 1997. Child abuse and psychosis: A literature review and implications for professional practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 28.

3           Kaplan, S., Pelcovitz, D., Salzinger, S., Mandel, F. & Weiner, M., 1997. Adolescent physical abuse and suicide attempts. Journal of the Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 36(6).

4           Molnar, B., Shade, S., Kral, A., Booth, R. & Watters, J., 1998. Suicidal behaviour and sexual/physical abuse among street youth. Child Abuse and Neglect. 22(3).

5           Angus, G. & Woodward, S., 1995. Child abuse & neglect Australia 1993 - 1994 Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

6           Angus, G. & Hall, G., 1996. Child abuse & neglect Australia 1994 - 1995 Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

7              Austeal, P., 1994.  Don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel.  Alternative Law Journal. 19(2).       

8           Briggs, F. & Hawkins, R., 1996. A comparison of childhood experience of convicted male child molesters and men who were sexually abused in childhood and claimed to be non-offenders.  Child Abuse and Neglect.  20(3).

9           Prino, C. & Peyrot, M., 1994. The effects of child physical abuse and neglect on aggressive, withdrawn and pro-social behaviour. Child Abuse and Neglect. 18(10). 

10         Jumper, S., 1995.  A meta-analysis of the relationship of child sexual abuse to adult psychological adjustment. Child Abuse and Neglect. 19(6).

11         Widom, C., 1992, 'The cycle of violence', Child Protection Seminar Series No.5, NSW Child Protection Council, Sydney.

12         Charles, C., 1998. Editorial. Home Front.  Adelaide: Department of Human Services.

13         National Commission of Inquiry into the Prevention of Child Abuse, 1996.  Childhood Matters: Volume 1, London: HM Stationery Office.

14            Jacobsen, A. & Richardson, B., 1987.  Assault experience in 100 psychiatric inpatients: Evidence of the need for routine inquiry.  American Journal of Psychiatry. 144.

15         Ritschler, J., Coursey, R., & Farrell, E., 1997.  A survey on issues in the lives of women with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services 48.                      

16         Child Protection Australia 1996-97. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

17         Mouzos, J. 1999. Changing patterns in homicide: 1July 1989 – 30 June 1998.  Paper presented at the 3rd National Outlook Symposium, Canberra March 1999.

18          Child Protection Australia 1997-98. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

19          Child Protection Australia 1998-99. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

20          Queensland Crime Commission (2000) Report on paedophilia.  Queensland Government, Brisbane.

21          Reported in Melbourne Age, 27/4/01 p8.

22             Child Protection Australia 1999-00. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

23             Child Protection Australia 2000-01. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

24             Child Protection Australia 2001-02. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.



My name is Sarah

I am but three,

My eyes are swollen

I cannot see,

I must be stupid

I must be bad,

What else could have made

My daddy so mad?

I wish I were better

I wish I weren't ugly,

Then maybe my mommy

Would still want to hug me.

I can't speak at all

I can't do a wrong

Or else I'm locked up

All the day long.

When I awake I'm all alone

The house is dark

My folks aren't home

When my mommy does come

I'll try and be nice,

So maybe I'll get just

One whipping tonight.

Don't make a sound!

I just heard a car

My daddy is back

From Charlie's Bar.

I hear him curse

My name he calls

I press myself

Against the wall

I try and hide

From his evil eyes

I'm so afraid now

I'm starting to cry

He finds me weeping

He shouts ugly words,

He says its my fault

That he suffers at work.

He slaps me and hits me

And yells at me more,

I finally get free

And I run for the door.

He's already locked it

And I start to bawl,

He takes me and throws me

Against the hard wall.

I fall to the floor

With my bones nearly broken,

And my daddy continues

With more bad words spoken.

"I'm sorry!", I scream

But its now much too late

His face has been twisted

Into unimaginable hate

The hurt and the pain

Again and again

Oh please God, have mercy!

Oh please let it end!

And he finally stops

And heads for the door,

While I lay there motionless

Sprawled on the floor

My name is Sarah

And I am but three,

Tonight my daddy

Murdered me.

There are thousands of kids out there just like Sarah. And you can help.

Please pass this poem on because as crazy as it might sound, it might just indirectly change a life. Hey, you NEVER know. Please forward if you are


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