General statistics

Author: South Eastern CASA

Tags: Statistics & Research

Sexual assault

  • A UN study found that worldwide 1 in 3 women are abused before the age of 18. 1
  • An American study found 1 in 6 men are abused before the age of 18. 2
  • In Australia, 19% of women and 5.5% of men reported experiencing sexual violence since the age of 15. 3
  • 93% of offenders are male. 4
  • 82% of recorded sexual assault victims were female. 5
  • 1 in 6 reports to Police of rape and less than 1 in 7 reports of incest or sexual penetration of a child result in prosecution. 6
  • 77% of the people sentenced for rape received a period of imprisonment. 7
  • Reported sexual assaults have increased by an average of 4% each year since 1995. 8
  • 78% of sexual assault victims had some form of relationship with the offender. 9
  • Two in five sexual assaults were perpetrated by a family member. The figure is higher (47%) for male victims. 9
  • Females (23%) were more likely than males (15%) to be sexually assaulted by strangers. 9

Family violence

  • Family violence affects 1 in 5 women in Victoria. 10
  • Intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to preventable death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 - 44. It is responsible for more of the disease burden than high blood pressure, smoking or obesity. 11
  • Family Violence costs Australia about $8 billion per year, a substantial proportion of which is borne by the victims themselves. 11
  • In 2003-04 over 67,000 individuals, including 34,700 children, sought refuge through supported accommodation assistance program services to escape domestic and family violence. 12

Assaults against children

  • In the period between 1996 and 2003, the incidence of recorded sexual assault for children aged 0-14 years accounted for around 40% of all recorded sexual assaults. 13
  • For males, rates were highest for those aged 10-14 (95 per 100,000 relevant persons). 14
  • Boys made up 32% of sexual assault victims aged less than 10 years. 14
  • Where gender is recorded, victims of sexual abuse before the age of 15 were far more likely to be abused by men: 30% were abused by a male relative and 14% by a father/step-father. Children were least likely to be abused by a mother/step-mother (0.8%) or a female relative (0.9%). 15
  • 41% of all reported sexual assault victims were aged 0-14 years. 16
  • Around 7,500 children aged 0-14 years, or 187 in every 100,000 children, were the reported victims of sexual assault. 16
  • 75% of reported victims were girls. 16
  • Rates of reported sexual assault were higher for older girls (aged 10-14 years) than for 0-9 year old girls (more than twice as high). 16
  • Indigenous children made up 20% of all children who were the subject of substantiations of sexual abuse and 16% of all children who were the subject of substantiations of physical abuse. (This is despite comprising only around 5% of all children aged 0-17 years.) 16

Australian demographic statistics

December 2008 summary
Download: December 2008 summary ( 1.2Mb )
Source: Australian Bureau Of Statistics

References

1. Not a Minute More: Ending Violence Against Women, United Nations Development Fund For Women, 2003
Download: Not a Minute More: Ending Violence Against Women ( 888Kb )
Source: United Nations Development Fund For Women
2. Prevalence of Individual Adverse Childhood Experiences 1995 - 97, US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
Download: Prevalence of Individual Adverse Childhood Experiences ( 46Kb )
Source: US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
3. Personal Safety Survey, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2005
Download: ABS Personal Safety Survey 2005 ( 1.4Mb ), ABS PSS 2005 user information (900 Kb )
Source: Australian Bureau Of Statistics
4. National Statistics Crime and Safety Survey, Australian Bureau Of Statistics, 2002
Download: National Statistics Crime and Safety Survey 2002 ( 1.19Mb )
Source: Australian Bureau Of Statistics
5. Trends in Recorded Sexual Assault, Australian Institute Of Criminology, 2005
Download: Trends in Recorded Sexual Assault 2005 ( 97Kb )
Source: Australian Institute Of Criminology
6. Sexual Offences: Final Report, Victorian Law Reform Commission. Melbourne 2004
Download: Sexual Offences: Final Report 2004 ( 1.8Mb )
Source: Victorian Law Reform Commission
7. Rape Snapshot 2001 - 2005, The Sentencing Council
Download: Rape Snapshot 2001 - 2005 ( 539Kb )
Source: The Sentencing Council
8. Sexual Assault Statistics, Australian Institute Of Criminology, 2004
Download: Sexual Assault Statistics ( 344Kb )
Source: Australian Institute Of Criminology
9. Sexual Assault in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2004, Australian Bureau Of Statistics
Download: Sexual Assault in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2004 ( 1.8Mb )
Source: Australian Bureau Of Statistics
10. A New Approach to Reduce Family Violence, media release, Parliament House, Melbourne, April 28, 2005
Download: A New Approach to Reduce Family Violence ( 27Kb )
Source: A New Approach to Reduce Family Violence
11. The Health Costs of Violence, Vic Health, 2004
Download: The Health Costs of Violence. ( 400Kb ), Media release June, 2004 ( 50Kb )
Source: Vic Health
12. Women, Domestic and Family Violence and Homelessness: A Synthesis Report, Victorian Office For Women Department Of Families, Housing, Community Services And Indigenous Affairs, August 2008
Download: Women, Domestic and Family Violence and Homelessness: A Synthesis Report ( 338Kb )
Source: Victorian Office of Women's Affairs
13. Trends in Violent Crime, Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice no. 359. Australian Institute Of Criminology
Download: Sexual Assault Against Children AIC fact sheet 2008 ( 554Kb )
Source: Australian Institute Of Criminology
14. Victims Statistics, Australian Crime : Facts and Figures 2006/7, Australian Institute Of Criminology
Download: Australian Crime : Facts and Figures 2006/7 ( 2.9Mb )
Source: Australian Institute Of Criminology
15. Recidivism Sex Offenders Research Paper, The Sentencing Council
Download: Recidivism Sex Offenders Research Paper ( 711Kb )
Source: The Sentencing Council
16. A Picture of Australia's Children 2009, The Australian Institute Of Health And Welfare, 2009
Download: A Picture of Australia's Children 2009 ( 1.8Mb )
Source: The Australian Institute Of Health And Welfare

This is not an exhaustive list of research in the area of family violence and sexual assault, merely a starting point. As the locations of web pages often change, many of these reports have been made available through this page to assist readers. Please note that these pdfs may not contain the latest version or any recent changes so it is recommended that researchers check the author's website for updates, suplements or amendments. All published details correct as at July 2009.

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