U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Child Deaths From Abuse and Neglect in Australia

NCJ Number
Alister Lamont
Date Published
December 2010
6 pages
This report presents a statistical overview of child deaths due to abuse and neglect in Australia and internationally.
For this report, child deaths from abuse and neglect are defined as "deaths resulting from acts of physical violence or neglect of a child that are perpetrated by a family member or caregiver." On average, 25 Australian children are killed by their parents each year (Mouzos and Rushforth, 2003). In 2003, UNICEF estimated that of the 30 most economically developed nations, Australia had the ninth lowest rate of child deaths due to child abuse and neglect. Detailed information on child deaths resulting from abuse and neglect is not available from all Australian jurisdictions; however, information from jurisdictions that conduct official inquiries into child deaths (also referred to as child death reviews) provides some guidance. For those States and Territories that do collect official statistics, there is a consensus that available statistics under-represent the size of the problem because some child deaths determined to be "accidental deaths" might be attributable to child abuse and neglect. Data and procedures for investigating child deaths are discussed for the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, and Western Australia. Internationally, the report presents data on child deaths due to abuse and neglect worldwide and in the United States and the United Kingdom. 23 references