Girls more at risk of sexual abuse and neglect: Research

Content warning: This story discusses child sexual abuse and may distress some people.

A landmark study investigating child abuse and neglect in Australia has revealed girls are at greater risk of most types of maltreatment.

Researchers surveyed about 8 500 Australians and found girls experience more sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect compared to boys. Girls are also more likely to be subjected to multiple forms of abuse.

Key findings about girls:

  • More than 37 per cent experience child sexual abuse
  • More than 35 per cent experience emotional abuse
  • More than 10 per cent experience neglect
  • More than 43 per cent experience multiple forms of maltreatment

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Image: Girls experience higher rates of maltreatment

Produced By: Netta Finney

Featured In Story: Professor Daryl Higgins – Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University, and Jane – University student and survivor of childhood maltreatment

First aired on The Wire, Friday 28 April 2023