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Childhood victimisation as indicators of adult victimisation

Crime facts info no. 83

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, October 2004

A recently released report on women's experiences of male violence provides a detailed analysis of the Australian component of the International violence against women survey (IVAWS). The report includes information on women's experiences of physical and sexual violence, as well as the extent and nature of childhood victimisation. In support of previous research, which finds a relationship between childhood victimisation and subsequent victimisation in adulthood, an analysis of the IVAWS indicate that either physical and/or sexual abuse as a child significantly increase the likelihood of victimisation in adulthood. Women who experienced abuse during childhood were one and a half times more likely to experience any violence in adulthood (78% compared with 49%). The risk of sexual violence in adulthood doubles for women who were abused as a child (54% compared with 26%). The levels of violence experienced by women over the lifetime were higher for women who were abused as children compared to women who did not suffer childhood abuse. This pattern held irrespective of the type of childhood abuse suffered by the women.

Women's experiences of adult victimisation by victimisation in childhood



  • Mouzos J & Makkai T 2004. Women's experiences of male violence: Findings from the Australian component of the International violence against women survey (IVAWS). Research and public policy series no 56 Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology