Survey Results Analysis
More than 2,440 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in May, with more than eighty per cent of survey respondents (81%) identifying as female.
As was the case for last month’s survey, more females than males responded in every age group (see figure below). Eighty-five per cent of survey respondents were aged between 20‑59 years, with one‑quarter of responses contributed by women aged between 30-39 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.
There were small but significant differences between the responses of men and women. Women were more likely to attribute higher levels of responsibility (a great deal or total responsibility) for the safety of children to extended family, the local community, State and Territory governments, the Australian Government or society than men (see figure below). The reports of men and women were similar when asked whether they considered the safety of children to be the responsibility of parents.
Visitors to our website who participated in the online monthly survey reported that they thought total responsibility (55%) or a great deal of responsibility (43%) for child safety rested with parents. Only ten per cent of respondents reported that they thought total responsibility for child safety rested with extended family, while more than half of respondents (56%) considered that a great deal of responsibility for child safety rested with extended family. Between 7 and 10 per cent of survey respondents thought that total responsibility for the safety of children lay with the community, government or society, while between 39 and 45 per cent reported that they considered a great deal of responsibility for the safety of children lay with the local community, government or society.
The survey responses of Relationships Australia website visitors are consistent with the reports of child protection workers in the study of Macarthur et al. (2011). Similar to child protection workers, Relationships Australia online survey participants recognise parents as most responsible for the safety of children, but family, the broader community and governments also have a great deal of responsibility in keeping children safe.