The fatal impact of family violence and how it contributes to young Australians’ deaths by suicide is downplayed and poorly recorded, hidden by other presenting issues such as harmful substance use, and missing from Australia’s response systems, advocate Tash Anderson and authors of this report reveal.
Family violence is the leading cause of youth homelessness and death by suicide is the leading cause of death (accounting for 38 per cent of deaths) among 15–24-year-olds in Australia. Research estimates between one and two in four children and young people grow up experiencing adult family violence.
Despite this, young people’s deaths by suicide currently sit outside the family violence narrative. In Australia there are no national or state-wide specialist responses for young victim-survivors of family violence seeking help alone; who the paper highlights are more likely to be at greater risk of suicidal ideation and death by suicide if unsupported in early childhood development.