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Family, domestic and sexual violence is a major health and welfare issue. It affects people of all ages and from all backgrounds, but mainly women and children. This report explores the impact of family, domestic and sexual violence among vulnerable groups.
Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story, 2019: in brief is a companion to this report.
2.2 million Australians have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous partner
Indigenous people were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised for family violence as non-Indigenous people in 2016–17
Police recorded 25,000 sexual assaults in 2017
26,500 children aged 0–9 were assisted by specialist homelessness services due to domestic violence in 2017–18
First year: 2003
Latest year: 2018
Frequency: 2003, 2008, 2012
Years in this publication: 2018
Sample size: 10,272 respondents
Methodology: Online and telephone survey
The objectives of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) 2018 National Survey on Sexual Harassment were to collect data about:
The Survey collected data from men and women aged 15 and over. The sample was representative of the Australian population in terms of age, sex and area of residence.
Survey respondents were given a simplified legal definition of sexual harassment and asked if they had ever been sexually harassed. Respondents were then provided with a list of behaviours likely to constitute sexual harassment (see below) and asked if they had experienced any of these behaviours.
The survey was distributed by either online or telephone format. About 40% of respondents were surveyed by telephone and 60% online. Respondents interviewed by telephone were drawn by random digit dialling, which recruited individuals with a fixed landline telephone. Given the increasing number of households without a landline connection, mobile telephone numbers were also included in the sample, and were drawn through Roy Morgan Research’s Single Source Database, which contains 326,000 mobile numbers confirmed to be current residential numbers. The online survey respondents were randomly drawn from the Roy Morgan Online Panel, which has over 189, 000 aged over 15 and closely reflects the demographic characteristics of the general population.
For participants under the age of 18, permission from a parent or guardian was required. Parents and guardians were allowed to be present at the telephone interview, and were given the option to withdraw permission after the online interview if they wanted their child’s submission to be withdrawn from the survey. The need for parental permission may have resulted in a possible sampling bias for respondents under the age of 18.
The simplified definition of sexual harassment provided to survey respondents was based on the legal definition in section 28A of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and stated:
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which, in the circumstances, a reasonable person, aware of those circumstances, would anticipate the possibility that the person would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.
The list of behaviours likely to constitute sexual harassment, which survey respondents were also asked about, was:
For more information, visit Everyone’s business: Fourth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.
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