Patterns of physical violence in youth: The experience of 16 to 25 year olds

Alexander Voukelatos*, Rebecca Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Issue addressed: Physical violence among youth is an important public health issue. While data from hospital admissions and police reports can provide some information regarding the incidence of violence, little is known about violent incidents that are not reported to these agencies. This paper seeks to describe the self-reported experience and circumstances associated with the patterns of physical violence among 16-25 year olds. Methods: Data from the 2004 New South Wales (NSW) Adult Health Survey were analysed regarding the self-reported experience of physical violence of 16-25 year olds over a 12-month period and the circumstances associated with their experience of violence. Results: Around one in 10 young people reported that they had been physically assaulted within the previous 12 months. For males, their attacker was commonly previously unknown to them, intoxicated at the time of the incident, and the incident commonly occurred in an outdoor location or at a licensed premises. For females, their attacker was commonly a spouse or partner and the incident commonly occurred at home or in the workplace. Around three-quarters of respondents did not report the assault to police or other appropriate authorities, and around two-thirds did not receive any medical treatment for an injury sustained following the attack. Conclusion: Public health policies and strategies should reflect the need to tackle the issue of youth violence in NSW, including long-term policies aimed at addressing both the economic and social causes of youth violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


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