This report's findings emphasise the prevalence of violence and abuse in young people’s lives, along with the inadequacy of institutional responses to violence against young women and non-binary people.
- 89.4% of young women and non-binary people experience violence and abuse.
- Most young people do not use formal reporting mechanisms to report violence or abuse.
- The main reasons for not reporting were being embarrassed or ashamed (74.4%); fearful of not being believed (69.2%) or of being judged (51.3%); or due to a lack of trust in the system (61.5%).
- Over two thirds of respondents who reported said that nothing happened and nothing changed.
- While just over half of those who had experienced violence sought support (54%), almost half did not.
- A large majority of study participants said that their perpetrator was not held to account.
The report makes clear that much more needs to be done to help young people. While an ultimate policy objective is to stop violence before it happens, there are pressing and significant barriers to healing and to justice that must be addressed. The report examines ways to improve reporting and support mechanisms, embed primary prevention, and secure justice for young victim-survivors.
Drawing on a 2021 survey and a subsequent community forum, the report was jointly produced by the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA), Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NATSIWA), and the Women’s Services Network (WESNET). The report and survey are notable for their diverse representation of young women and non-binary people. Of over 300 survey respondents, 62% were LGBTIQA, 26.4% were living with a disability, 7.2% were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, 18% were migrants or refugees, and one in five lived rurally, remotely or regionally.