6.2 Child sexual assault

These data capture children who were recorded by the police as victims of sexual assault. These offences may have been reported by a victim, witness or other person, or they may have been detected by police. The data do not provide a total picture of victims, as not all crimes are reported to police; nor do all incidents which are reported to police get recorded as a crime. In particular, children may feel intimidated and reluctant to report personal crimes if the perpetrator is known to them or in a position of power.

Trend data: For all indicator displays, the yearly trend is limited to indicators with 3 or more years (including the current year) of comparable time series data. To see the trend click on “Yearly Trend” button on the display. Where 3 or more years of comparable data including the most recent year is not available, a “No time series data” message is shown on the display.

The figure shows the rate of children and young people aged 0–14 who were recorded victims of sexual assault, 2010 to 2019. The rate was 215.9 per 100,000 for 2019.

Source: AIHW analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Recorded crime: victims, Australia.

See the supplementary data tables for further information and footnotes about these data.

Indicator technical specifications

The information below provides technical specifications for the summary indicator data presented in the quick reference guide.

National Framework Indicator 6.2 Child Sexual Assault: Rate of children aged 0-14 years who have been the victim of sexual assault
  Definition Data source
Numerator Number of children aged 0–14 years who were the victim of sexual assault in the reference period ABS Recorded Crime—Victims data collection
Denominator Number of children aged 0–14 years at 30 June AIHW Population Database (sourced from ABS Australian Demographic Statistics)

Explanatory notes

The recorded crime statistics relate to victims of a selected range of offences that police have recorded. These offences may have been reported by a victim, witness or other person, or they may have been detected by police. The statistics do not provide a total picture of crime, as not all crimes are reported to police, nor do all incidents which are reported to police get recorded as a crime. These data are not designed to provide counts of total number of victims—victims may be double-counted where multiple offences have occurred.

The reported level of crime that children and young people experience is likely to be underestimated as children, in particular, may feel intimidated and reluctant to report personal crimes if the perpetrator is known to them or in a position of power.

ABS also advises care in interpreting police statistics as fluctuations in recorded crime may be a reflection of changes in community attitudes in reporting crime, changes in police procedures or changes in crime reporting systems, rather than a change in the incidence of criminal behaviour.