18 September 2020

Tania Maxwell MP has called for a systemic approach to address adolescent violence, as recent data shows up to 10% of police callouts related to family violence involve young people.

Ms Maxwell said two recommendations outlined in the Royal Commission into Family Violence relating to adolescent violence are still outstanding and has asked the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence for an update on the response.

Recent data from the Children’s Court shows that around 10% of all family violence police callouts in Victoria involve respondents aged 19 or under and, disturbingly, around 30% of these respondents are females.

Ms Maxwell said that as disconcerting as these numbers are, they underplay the full extent of the problem as research consistently reinforces the notion that many occurrences of adolescent violence are never reported.

Ms Maxwell said that there also remains a general lack of knowledge about adolescent violence as a specific phenomenon, which leads to further gaps and inconsistencies in policy, practice and legislation, as well as in policing and jurisdictional responses.

Ms Maxwell has asked the Government to indicate what other work and actions are currently being undertaken by the Government specifically to reduce adolescent violence, including targeted early intervention strategies and funding.

Quotes attributable to Tania Maxwell MP:

 “Like childhood trauma, violent behaviour during adolescence can often be the entry point for people not just into long periods of criminal offending but also more basic problems such as difficulties in learning, in communicating and in maintaining emotional stability.”

“A more systemic approach to address the needs of violent adolescents and their families is urgently required.”