Aussie Teens Are Experiencing Devastatingly High Rates Of Intimate Partner Violence

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual, emotional, and physical violence.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has conducted research which found a shockingly high number of Aussie teenagers experiencing violence at the hands of their intimate partner over last year.

According to the upsetting data from the AIFS’s report, almost 30 per cent of teens were found to have experienced intimate partner violence in the last 12 months alone.

The Intimate partner violence among Australian 18–19 year olds report found that 25 per cent of 18-19 year olds experienced emotional abuse, and 12 per cent were victim to physical violence, and eight per cent were sexually abused in their intimate relationships.

Of the 10,000 individuals surveyed, a total of 29 per cent said that at least one form of intimate partner violence had occurred.

The 10-page report also showed that female teens were 7.5 times more likely to experience sexual violence from an intimate partner, as well as being 3.2 per cent more likely to experience any form violence from a partner.

Comparison of the sexes likelihood to experience intimate partner violence. Source: Intimate partner violence among Australian 18–19 year olds, page 5.

Dr Karlee O’Donnell who conducted the research with the AIFS noted that even though the numbers are devastatingly high, the research did help to find effective patterns that can help to reduce the problem.

The report found that healthy relationships with friends and family at ages 16 to 17 are substantial factors in the likelihood of being a victim of intimate partner violence in the years to follow.

A press statement from the AIFS determined that “high trust and good communication with parents reduced emotional abuse victimisation by 39 per cent and sexual abuse victimisation by 77 per cent.”

“As a parent, one of the most important things to do is to build a strong, trusting relationship with your child when they’re young, and keep nurturing that all the way through secondary school,” shared O’Donnell.

Meanwhile strong friendships during these fundamental years could reduce the like likelihood by 36 per cent.

“Our research clearly shows that social support systems are key in reducing intimate partner violence,” O’Donnell said.

“Parents and friends can help teens understand what healthy and respectful relationships look like.”

The Australian Institute of Family Studies have urged the government to set up a form of assistance specifically targeted at the age demographic to support teens in recognising, avoiding, or escaping violent relationships.

Help is available.