​An estimated 57% to 75% of Australians will experience a potentially traumatic event in their lifetime.1

Last updated: 22 February 2023

Violence by an intimate partner

1 in 6 people (16% or 2.9m) experienced violence3 by an intimate partner4

1 in 4 women
(2.2 million)

1 in 13 men

Sexual violence

1 in 9 people (11.7% or 2.2m) experienced sexual violence5

1 in 5 women
(1.7 million)

1 in 20 men

Extensive research indicates violence, abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)8 have serious outcomes for women, children and men’s health. These health and wellbeing outcomes are cumulative and may be incrementally worse for people experiencing multiple types of abuse or other ACEs.

Physical injuries

Mental health

An estimated half to two thirds of young people have been exposed to at least one traumatic event by the time they turn 16.2

Child abuse (before the age of 15)

1 in 8 people (13% or 2.5m) 18 years and over experienced child abuse6

1 in 6 women
(1.5 million)

1 in 9 men

Witness violence to parent

1 in 9 Australians (2m) witnessed violence7 towards their mother by a partner.

1 in 22 Australians (819,000) witnessed violence7 towards their father by a partner.


Physical health

Chronic disease

Sexual and reproductive health

Behaviours associated with risk


  1. Rossman, 2002 & Mills et al., 2011 cited in Bendall et al., 2018
  2. Copeland et al., 2007 & McLaughlin et al., 2013 cited in Bendall et al., 2018
  3. Physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15.
  4. Current and/or previous partner, girlfriend, boyfriend or date.
  5. Sexual assault and sexual threat since the age of 15.
  6. Physical and/or sexual abuse by an adult (18 years and over) before the age of 15.
  7. Physical assault only witnessed before the age of 15. 8. In addition to violence, abuse and neglect, ACEs include parental substance abuse, mental health, separation, & incarceration.

Infographics: Costello & Backhouse, 2019a. Data sources (other than for 1. & 2. already cited above): ABS, 2017 (Personal Safety Survey); various sources cited in Costello & Backhouse, 2019b (especially pp.109-111); 70/30 Campaign (WAVE Trust, 2018); and Burke Harris, 2018.

Current as at: Wednesday 22 February 2023