Funded by: National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant (2019 – 2022, APP1158750)
Lead Investigator: Prof Ben Mathews (Queensland University of Technology)
Project Team: A/Prof James Scott, Dr Hannah Thomas, Dr Holly Erskine, Prof Michael Dunne (Queensland University of Technology), A/Prof Rosana Pacella (University of Chichester & Queensland University of Technology), Prof Daryl Higgins (Australian Catholic University), Prof David Finkelor (University of New Hampshire), Dr Franziska Meinck (University of Oxford)
Child maltreatment is a major public health issue for Australia and necessarily requires an evidence-based response. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence cause profound long-term impacts on mental and physical health. This project is the first Australian national prevalence study of child maltreatment using a nationally representative sample of adolescents aged 16–17, and adults aged 18 years and over. It will identify health outcomes associated with child maltreatment and quantify the attributable burden of disease.
Public health responses for more effective prevention and treatment require a robust evidence-base. There is an urgent need for reliable population-level data about the prevalence of different forms of maltreatment, the contextual characteristics presenting greatest risk, and the health outcomes of these experiences. This research study will represent a significant shift in the state of scientific evidence. The findings will have high potential to inform national public policy strategies about where, when, and how to invest resources to better prevent, identify, and respond to child maltreatment.
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