Sexual assault in Australia

Our challenge

Supporting community understandings of sexual assault

Sexual assault is a major health and welfare issue in Australia. The Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 highlights the need to examine the incidence, impacts and attitudes towards sexual violence and sexual harassment.

A single information product that brings together a range of national health, welfare and justice data can support better community understanding of the topic.

Our response

Providing accessible information

Sexual assault in Australia provides a summary of data on sexual assaults in Australia in a format that is easy to read and includes a range of infographics. This ‘Infocus’ report targets a general audience and covers broader themes – such as victim impacts, community attitudes, offender characteristics and criminal court findings – as well as includes the latest figures. It draws together a range of available data sources to provide a national summary of the extent, nature and impact of sexual assault.

Through bringing together these data sources, the report also highlights data gaps, including data on a range of health services and other crisis and long-term service responses. Sexual assault in Australia complements the AIHW’s national reporting on family, domestic and sexual violence, including:

Our results

Strong community impact

This report had strong, immediate impact in the community, receiving more than 60 media mentions (including print, newspaper, radio and television) on release in August 2020, and continued to inform debate and discussion. Over a week in March 2021, during a time of considerable community engagement and debate on the topic, the report received more than 8,000 views on the AIHW website. This is almost double the number of views of the AIHW’s most flagship report, Australia’s health.