Statistics on Child Abuse & Neglect
2001 - 2002
of abused children in
of abused children in
Latest statistics indicate that in 2001-02 the number of children abused and neglected24:
Family types involved in substantiated abuse and neglect24:
In 2001-02 there were
137,938 children reported abused or neglected in
In 2001-02 there were
30,473 children substantiated as abused or neglected in
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
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
child abuse and neglect resulted in 10% of the expenditure of the mental
health services and correctional services in the
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
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
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 &
6 Angus, G. & Hall, G., 1996. Child abuse &
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.
13 National Commission of Inquiry into the Prevention of
Child Abuse, 1996. Childhood Matters: Volume 1,
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
17 Mouzos, J. 1999. Changing patterns in homicide: 1July
18 Child Protection
19 Child Protection
20 Queensland Crime Commission (2000)
Report on paedophilia.
21 Reported in Melbourne Age,
22 Child Protection
23 Child Protection Australia 2000-01.
24 Child Protection Australia 2001-02.
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
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
*AGAINST CHILD ABUSE*