About the study

Our project

The ACMS aims to identify for the first time how many Australians in the general population experienced any of the five types of child abuse and neglect (physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence). This is the first study in Australia to collect this important information.

The ACMS will use computer-assisted telephone interview surveys to interview 10 000 Australians (including 5000 young people aged 16-24) about their experiences of child abuse and neglect.

In addition to capturing prevalence data the ACMS will identify long term mental and physical health outcomes associated with exposure to child abuse and neglect. It will also calculate the burden of disease, or real costs, of maltreatment over the course of the lifespan.

The project has three broad aims:

  • To identify how many Australians experienced child abuse and neglect, and gather important details about its nature (child age and sex, frequency, severity, relationship with the person inflicting the abuse).
  • To identify the associated long term physical health (e.g., cardiac issues, obesity, diabetes) and mental health outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety, substance misuse).
  • To identify the burden of disease or real-life costs of maltreatment.

The findings from this study are critical to inform policy and practice to help prevent and reduce child maltreatment in Australia. This study is supported by the Australian Government.

The ACMS has received ethical clearance from the Queensland University of Technology Human Research Ethics Committee (ref 1900000477)

Our partners

The ACMS is proud to partner with the National Health and Medical Research Council, The Social Research Centre, and the Australian Government on this important project. For more information about our partners please click here.