One In Four Australian Teens Have Experienced Domestic Violence

by VR Sreeraman on Nov 18 2008 3:32 PM

One in four teenagers is a victim of domestic violence Down Under, according to a new survey.

The findings of the survey, commissioned by White Ribbon Foundation, have raised concerns over increasing violence at home, and call for domestic violence education programs in schools.

The survey also showed that one third of boys believed "it's not a big deal to hit a girl," while one in seven thought "it's OK to make a girl have sex with you if she was flirting."

The survey also revealed that one in seven teenage girls had experienced sexual assault or rape.

Sociologist Dr. Michael Flood, co-author of the report titled "An Assault on Our Future: The impact of violence on young people and their relationships" said that the research revealed watching a violent parent could be just as damaging as a physical assault.

"We used to distinguish between children witnessing violence and children experiencing violence but that implies that seeing your dad or mum being violent is more trivial," quoted Flood as saying.

"In fact, the evidence is that it can be just as harmful, powerful and traumatic as the physical impact," he added.

White Ribbon Foundation chairman Andrew O'Keefe said that violence would not end without challenging the views that tolerated it.

"If we are going to succeed we must start by challenging these attitudes while kids are still young," he said.

"We know that adults who hold these attitudes are more likely to use violence," he added.