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Safe and supported

“I really like this survey because now I know that someone is out there that wants to hear the thoughts of lots of children similar to me.”

Every child or young person has the right to be loved and to feel safe and supported - this involves positive family relationships and connections with other adults, along with personal and community safety.

The Speaking Out Survey asked students in Years 4 to Year 12 about their relationships with their parents and other adults in their lives, their material basics such as housing, transport and food and if there were any family problems that worried them. They were also asked about their feelings of safety at home, in their community and about their experiences of violence and harm.

The key findings are below.

Safe and supported

Safe and healthy relationships
  • 72% of students feel their dad cares about them a lot and 82% feel their mum cares about them a lot.
  • 17% of female and 8% of male high school students say they cannot talk to their parents about their problems.
  • 1-in-3 female high school students say they often don’t feel listened to.
  • 1-in-2 students feel they are very good at making and keeping friends and 2-in-5 say they are okay at it.
  • 1-in-5 Year 10–12 students feel they do not have enough friends.
  • 45% of high school students are regularly in contact online with people they have not met face-to-face and 21% are daily.
Material needs
  • 78% of Year 4–6 students and 92% of Year 7–12 students have their own bedroom.
  • 1-in-4 students moved homes in the last 12 months.
  • 8% of students said there is only sometimes enough food for them to eat at home and 1% said there is never enough food.
  • Almost all (97%) Year 10–12 students own a mobile phone, while 87% of Year 4–9 students own some type of electronic device.
Feeling physically and emotionally safe
  • 1-in-10 female students feel safe at home only sometimes or less.
  • 3% of students feel safe at home only a little bit of the time or never.
  • More than 1-in-2 high school students worry that someone in their family will be fighting and 1-in-10 worry a lot.
  • Less than one-third of students reported feeling safe in their local area all the time.
  • One-half of high school students feel safe on buses and trains only sometimes or less and 8% never.
  • 1-in-3 female high school students don’t have an adult they would feel okay talking to about serious problems.
  • 1-in-2 male and 1-in-3 female Year 9 to 12 students reported they had been hit or physically harmed on purpose.
  • Female students are most likely to be physically harmed at home while male students are most likely to be physically harmed at school and other public places.
  • Female young people are twice as likely as male young people to be harmed by an adult.

Speaking Out Survey 2021 - Summary report

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More Speaking Out Survey findings