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Family, domestic and sexual violence is a major health and welfare issue. It affects people of all ages and from all backgrounds, but mainly women and children. This report explores the impact of family, domestic and sexual violence among vulnerable groups.
Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story, 2019: in brief is a companion to this report.
1 woman was killed every 9 days and 1 man every 29 days by a partner between 2014–15 and 2015–16
Indigenous people were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised for family violence as non-Indigenous people in 2016–17
1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men with disability experienced emotional abuse from a partner
26,500 children aged 0–9 were assisted by specialist homelessness services due to domestic violence in 2017–18
First year: 2004
Latest year: 2016
Frequency: 2 yearly
Year in this publication: 2010, 2012, 2014
Sample size: Birth cohort N = 5,107 Kindergarten cohort N = 4,983 (Table 1)
Methodology: Longitudinal survey
The purpose of the study is to provide data that enable a comprehensive understanding of development and life-course trajectories within Australia's current social, economic and cultural environment. The longitudinal nature of the study enables researchers to examine the dynamics of change through the life course as children develop, and to go beyond the static pictures provided by cross-sectional statistics. The study thereby gives policy-makers and researchers access to quality data about children's development in the contemporary Australian environment.
The use of multiple respondents in LSAC provides a rich picture of children's lives and development in various contexts. Across the first 7 waves of the study, data were collected from:
In earlier waves of the study, the primary respondent was the child's Parent 1. In the majority of cases, this was the child’s biological mother, but in a small number of families this was someone else who knew the most about the child.
Since Wave 2, the Kindergarten cohort children have answered age-appropriate interview questions, and from Wave 4 they also answered a series of self-complete questions. The Birth cohort children answered a short set of interview questions in Wave 4 for the first time. As children grow older, they are progressively becoming the primary respondents of the study.
The sampling unit for LSAC is the study child. The sampling frame for the study was the Medicare Australia (formerly Health Insurance Commission) enrolments database, which is the most comprehensive database of Australia's population, particularly of young children.
In 2004, approximately 18,800 children (aged 0–1 or 4–5 years) were sampled from this database, using a two-stage clustered design. In the first stage, 311 postcodes were randomly selected (very remote postcodes were excluded due to the high cost of collecting data from these areas).
In the second stage, children were randomly selected within each postcode, with the two cohorts being sampled from the same postcodes. A process of stratification was used to ensure that the numbers of children selected were roughly proportionate to the total numbers of children within each state/territory, and within the capital city statistical districts and the rest of each state. The method of postcode selection took into account the number of children in the postcode; hence, all the potential participants in the study Australia-wide had an approximately equal chance of selection (about one in 25).
The primary measure of domestic violence was the question ‘Have you ever been afraid of your current partner?’ Those who responded with either ‘Yes’ were considered as experiencing domestic violence.
In addition, argumentative relationship data (questions for Parent 1 and Parent 2) collected since Wave 1 has a domestic violence element:
Since Wave 4, the following question has been included for Parent 1 and Parent 2:
Since Wave 7, the following questions have been included for Parents (i.e., Parent 1, Parent 2 and Parent living elsewhere):
In Wave 7, LSAC collected data on parents’ childhood adversity in terms of domestic violence and sexual abuse:
Birth cohort age
For more information, visit Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.
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