Statistics about sexual assault
- 17% of women and 4% of men experienced sexual assault since the age of 15 (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Personal Safety Survey, 2012)
- A University study found 20.6% of women and 10.5% of men reported non-penetrative childhood sexual abuse by the age of 16 and that 7.9% of women and 7.5% of men reported penetrative childhood sexual abuse by the age 16 years. (Mamun, Lawlor, O’Calloghan, Bor, Williams. & Najman, 2007 Queensland University study)
- 93% of offenders are male (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Recorded Crime – Offenders, 2013-14)
- 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 (Sexual Offences: Law & Procedure Final Report, Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2004)
- Only about 17% of reported sexual offences result in a conviction, a figure consistent with data from other States and overseas. (Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission, 2003)
- Violence against women and their children cost the Australian economy $13.6 billion. (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Defining the Data Challenge for Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence, 2013)
- 15% of women had been sexually assaulted by a known person compared to 4% who were assaulted by a stranger (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Personal Safety Survey, 2012)
Family violence and stalking
- 62% of women and 8% of men experienced their most recent incident of physical assault by a male in their home (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Personal Safety Survey, 2012)
- 17% of women and 5% of men had experienced violence by a partner since the age of 15 (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Personal Safety Survey, 2012)
- 25% of women and 14% of men have experienced emotional abuse by a partner since the age of 15. (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Emotional Abuse, 2014)
- 19% of women and 8% of men have experienced an episode of stalking during their lifetime (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Emotional Abuse, 2014)
- An estimated 27% of children who are in homes where violence was being experienced by a current partner had witnessed the violence (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Personal Safety Survey, 2006)
Age and Gender
- Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were the greatest proportion of victim/survivors of sexual violence (A/C based on Police Data).
- Young women between 15 and 24 years were the second largest category (A/C based on Police Data). • Older women experience violence and abuse at higher rates compared to older men (Quadara 2007).
Women with a disability
- In a study of 850 reported rapes in Victoria, 26.5% were identified as having a disability, 58.8% of these had a psychiatric disability or a mental health issue and 22.1% were identified as having an intellectual disability. (Heenan & Murray, 2007).
Women in custodial settings
- A survey of 100 women in SE Queensland prisons found that 95% had experienced abuse prior to imprisonment. 98% physical abuse, 89% sexual abuse, 70% emotional abuse and 16% ritual abuse. The majority of women experienced this abuse in childhood and 37% before the age of 5. (Kilroy, 2000)
- Indigenous women are over-represented as victims of interpersonal violence.
People living in rural and remote Australia
- Police figures show that interpersonal violence per head of population increases the further one lives from a capital city. (Hogg & Carrington, 2006).
- A study found that 9.9% of treated sex offenders reoffended sexually, compared with 17.3% of non-treated sex offenders. (Hanson, Gordon, Harris, Marques, Murphy, Quinsey & Seto, 2002)
- Adolescent sex offenders are more responsive to treatment than adults. They do not appear to continue to re- offend into adulthood, especially when provided with appropriate treatment (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, 2000).
This factsheet was developed in 2016 by:
Download the factsheet:
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA). 2000. ‘The effective legal management of juvenile sex offender’. Available from http://www.atsa.com/adolescents-engaged-in-sexually-abusive-behavior
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2002 & 2005, ‘Crime and Safety, Australia’, Canberra, Cat # 4509.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2013, ‘Defining the Data Challenge for Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence’, Canberra, Cat # 4529.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2014, ‘Emotional abuse’, Australian Social trends 2014, Canberra, Cat # 4102.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2005, ‘Personal Safety, Australia’, Canberra, Cat # 4906.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2012, ‘Personal Safety, Australia’, Canberra, Cat # 4906.0
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2014, ‘Recorded Crime – Offenders, Australia 2013-14’, Canberra, Cat # 4519.0 Fergusson, D.M. and Mullen, P.E. 1999, ‘Childhood sexual abuse: An evidence based perspective’, Sage, London.
Hanson, R.K., Gordon, A., Harris, A.J.R., Marques, J.K., Murphy, W., Quinsey, V.L. & Seto, M.C. 2002. ‘First report of the collaborative outcome data project on the effectiveness of psychological treatment for sex offenders’. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 14(2): 169-194.
Heenan, M., & Murray, S. 2007, ‘Study of reported rapes in Victoria 2000-2003. Summary research report’. Melbourne: Statewide Steering Committee to Reduce Sexual Assault.
Hogg, R., & Carrington, K. 2006. ‘Policing the Rural Crisis’. Federation Press.
Kilroy, D. 2000, ‘When Will You See The Real Us? Women In Prison’. Sisters Inside Inc. Queensland.
Mamun, A., Lawlor, D., O’Calloghan, M., Bor. W., Williams, G. & Najman, J. 2007. ‘Does childhood sexual abuse predict young adult’s BMI? A birth cohort study’. Obesity, 15(8): 2103-2110.
Mouzos, J and Makkai, T. 2004, ‘Women’s Experiences of Male Violence: Findings from the Australian Component of the International Violence Against Women Survey (2004)’. ARROW Discovery Service, Australia.
Quadara, A. 2007. ‘Considering “elder abuse” and sexual assault’. ACSSA Aware, 15. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission. 2003. ‘Seeking Justice: An inquiry into the handling of sexual offences by the criminal justice system’. Brisbane: Crime and Misconduct Commission.
VicHealth 2004, The Health Costs of Violence: Measuring the Burden of Disease Caused by Intimate Partner Violence, A summary of findings, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne.
Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2004. ‘Sexual Offences: Law and Procedure Final Report’. Victorian Law Reform Commission, Victoria.