The majority of Australian children in state care are there because of violent family separations, Queensland’s child safety inquiry has heard.

One in four children in Australia witness violence against their mother or stepmother, the inquiry’s Commissioner Tim Carmody said on Monday.

He also said 90 per cent of Family Court matters involve violent separations.

Commissioner for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Elizabeth Fraser agreed with the figures.

“There is a definite connection between violence in the home and children in care,” Ms Fraser told reporters outside the hearing in Brisbane.

She said domestic violence did not appear to be decreasing but there was no hard evidence to show it was increasing either.

“There is a prevalence of high levels of violence, often substance abuse, sometimes poverty, transience and changing relationships,” she told the inquiry.

Ms Fraser said children who witnessed violence often suffer emotional abuse.

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