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Survey Results Analysis

Just under 1250 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in October 2016, with more than three-quarters of survey respondents (76%) identifying as female.

As was the case for last month’s survey, more females than males responded in every age group (see figure 1).  Eighty-three per cent of survey respondents were aged between 20‑59 years, with 40 per cent of responses contributed by women aged between 30-49 years (inclusive).

The demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the groups of people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

Both men and women were more likely to attribute responsibility to parents for child neglect that included inadequate supervision, leading to risk of harm; abandonment, including leaving a child alone or not providing age-appropriate care; and emotional neglect, such as lack of caregiver warmth, encouragement and support.

There were small but significant differences between the responses of men and women when they were asked whether they thought parents, extended family, the local community, government or society had responsibility for supporting children affected by different types of child neglect.  Men were more likely than women to attribute higher levels of responsibility for child neglect to parents on each of the elements of child neglect examined in the survey (see figure 2).

A significant minority of men and women reported that responsibility for education (41%) and medical care (36%) was the responsibility of government.  Women (43%) were more likely than men (37%) to report that failure to provide an education and/or the tools required to participate in the education system was the responsibility of government, while women (35%) were less likely than men (43%) to report that they considered failure to provide an education was the responsibility of the parents.

A significant minority of men (28%) and women (25%) considered responsibility for child maltreatment that included emotional neglect was the responsibility of extended family.  Only a small proportion of survey respondents considered that supporting children affected by child neglect to be the responsibility of the local community.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites