Assaults on kids lead to worse injuries than accidents

IN AN effort to ensure domestic violence policy does not forget kids, a researcher has highlighted statistics showing assaults on children lead to more severe injuries than accidents.

The University of Queensland's Professor Justin Kenardy said assault-related injuries also lead to greater long-term disability in children.

He is pushing for the government to keep children front and centre in its $100 million domestic violence strategy.

Prof Kenardy said although 2012 research from Queensland's trauma registry showed children under the age of one experienced assaults at a similar rate to adolescents, their outcomes were three times as severe.

"As well as loss of life, we are also talking about psychosocial problems, loss of quality of life, disability in survivors and an enormous economic burden," he said.

"It's encouraging the Federal Government has committed new funding to addressing domestic violence, but I encourage them to keep child victims at the forefront of their programs and policies."

Prof Kenardy said outside major urban areas, indigenous children suffered from the highest rates of assault.

"Indigenous female children have the highest rate of assault-related injury, 15 times higher than non-indigenous females," he said.

"Research showed the majority, 63.9%, of assault-related injuries on children younger than 12 occurred within the home."

The most frequent injuries from assault on infants were head and brain injuries.

Prof Kenardy, who worked on the 2012 study, said proven prevention and intervention strategies could stop the cycle of violence over time.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, phone 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. - APN NEWSDESK



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