Investigating Adolescent Family Violence

Project contact: Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon

About the research project

In the last five years, the findings of state-based inquiries and academic research have revealed a lack of integrated service and justice responses to adolescent family violence. Adolescent family violence refers to violence perpetrated by young people against family members, including physical, emotional, psychological, verbal, financial and/or sexual abuse by a child or adolescent against their parent, carer, sibling or other family member in the home (Royal Commission into Family Violence, 2016). The term is used most commonly to refer to the use of family violence by persons aged 10 to 17 years old.

Despite an increasing acknowledgement of the significant harms and impacts of this form of family violence, to date across Australian states and territories there is a lack of specialist service responses alongside an acknowledgement of the inadequacies of criminal justice responses in this area.

Investigating adolescent family violence was a project completed in 2018 by a multidisciplinary team of Monash University researchers from the School of Social Sciences, the Department of General Practice, and the Department of Social Work. This project explored attitudes towards, patterns of, and the impact of AFV. The project built on, and complemented, work being conducted in the United Kingdom (titled Investigating adolescent violence towards parents). Associate Professor Rachel Condry , Oxford University, visited and conducted a workshop with the Monash research team in February 2017.


Relevant research briefs and media contributions

Research brief: Understanding adolescent family violence

Research brief: Parricide

19 July 2018, The Conversation
Explainer: What is Parricide and How Common is it in Australia?

3 July 2017, The Conversation
Long Ignored, Adolescent Family Violence Needs Our Attention


The following videos can be viewed on our Community and Media Engagement page under Project Events.

Adolescent family violence symposium 2020 at Family Safety Victoria

Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon & Dr Silke Meyer - The experiences of young people & mothers effected by AFV

MGFVPC researchers Associate Professor Silke Meyer and Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon contributed to a one day symposium on adolescent family violence held by Family Safety Victoria and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Inc. The Symposium was held on 13th March 2020 at the State Library of Victoria. Silke and Kate presented on 'The experiences of young people and mothers affected by adolescent violence in the home'. You can watch the presentation below.

Recording of the launch of the report, including a panel discussion, on 18 August 2018.

To launch the Final Report MGFVPC researchers Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Professor JaneMaree Maher spoke on a panel alongside Liana Buchanan, Commissioner for Children and Young People in Victoria and Helen Fatouros who was Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission and a Sentencing Advisory Council Director.

Adolescent family violence workshop 2019

An inter-disciplinary workshop funded by the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia on adolescent family violence was held in 9-10 December 2019.

This interdisciplinary workshop investigated the under-researched phenomena of adolescent family violence in Australia. By bringing together academics, practitioners and key international experts, the workshop aimed to explore inadequacies and gaps in criminal justice and support services’ responses to family violence in Australia.

Convenors: Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Professor JaneMaree Maher and Professor Heather Douglas (University of Queensland)

Attendees: This workshop was attended by Australian and international scholars, advocates and family violence practitioners, including:

Professor Tamara Walsh

Dave Burck

Jo Howard

Dr Elena Campbell

Dr Silke Meyer

Liana Buchanan

Honourable Marcia Neave

Lauren Moulds

Dr Andrew McGrath

Professor Sarah Wendt

Associate Professor Kris Natalier

Associate Professor Jan Breckenridge

Associate Professor Michael Flood

Dr Emma Colvin

Dr Jasmine McGowan

Michael Livingstone

Leigh Goodmark

Caroline Miles

International Network Addressing Filial Violence

The International Network Addressing Filial Violence is led by Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Professor Rachel Condry (Oxford University). The Network aims to bring together international experts to investigate the commission of violence by children against their parents across the life course.

For further details about the Network, visit the research page.

Support services

If you need urgent help, call the police on 000.

If you think you may be experiencing adolescent family violence or need support services related to adolescent family violence, please contact one the following Victorian support services: