30 August 2018
The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence identified that more work was needed to understand how best to prevent sibling violence, as well as to support its victims. As a first step, this paper explores patterns of sibling offending by examining the frequency of police-recorded adolescent sibling violence in Victoria, as well as the characteristics of perpetrators and victims. It examines all Crimes against the person recorded during the five years ending 30 June 2017 where the victim and perpetrator were recorded as siblings and were both under 18 years old.
Key findings include:
- The annual number of sub-incidents of sibling violence increased from 146 in 2013 to 191 in 2017
- Common assault was the most frequently recorded type of sibling violence
- Around three-quarters of perpetrators of sibling violence were male. The average age of perpetrators was 14.7 years old
- 59% of victims of sibling violence were female. The average age of victims was 11.9 years old, with around one-quarter aged under 10 years old
- In around three-quarters of sibling violence sub-incidents the perpetrator was older than the victim. In 46.2% of sub-incidents a brother offended against his sister
- 30% of perpetrators of sibling violence were recorded as a victim of a family incident in the five years prior
Figure 1. Annual number of recorded sibling violence sub-incidents during the five years ending 30 June 2017
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