New CSA research on adolescent sibling violence in Victoria

30 August 2018

More than 700 crimes against the person were recorded between adolescent siblings during the past five years, research released today by the Crime Statistics Agency shows.

The study found that common assault was the most frequently recorded offence type between adolescent siblings, followed by serious assault.

Almost half of adolescent sibling violence involved a brother offending against his sister, while 34% involved a brother offending against his brother.

In close to 80% of cases the perpetrator of sibling violence was older than the victim, by an average of 3.1 years. The average age of victims was 11.9 years old.

Crime Statistics Agency Chief Statistician Catherine Andersson said this paper was the first step towards developing a stronger understanding of the characteristics of sibling violence in Victoria.

“Previous research has found a relationship between sibling violence perpetration at a young age and perpetration of other forms of family and non-family violence in adulthood,” Ms Andersson said.

“Our study revealed that almost a third of perpetrators of sibling violence had been recorded as the victim of at least one family incident in the previous five years, most (71%) at the hands of a parent,” she said.

“We know this research underestimates the true extent of adolescent sibling violence in Victoria as this form of violence often goes unreported to police or the behaviour may not necessarily constitute a criminal offence.”

“More in-depth research is planned to further examine patterns of how violence develops between siblings over time, and the relationships between sibling violence and other types of family violence in Victoria.”

Background

The paper Adolescent sibling violence in Victoria was released today. It examined all Crimes against the person recorded by Victoria Police during the five years ending 30 June 2017 where the victim and perpetrator were recorded as siblings and were both under 18 years old.

For further information please contact:

Melanie Millsteed, Crime Statistics Agency Research and Evaluation Manager
Phone: (03) 8684 1828
Email: melanie.millsteed@crimestatistics.vic.gov.au (External link)

Author
Crime Statistics Agency, 2018
Publisher
Crime Statistics Agency, 2018
Date of Publication

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