Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Family, domestic and sexual violence data in Australia , AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 09 February 2023.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Family, domestic and sexual violence data in Australia . Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-data
Family, domestic and sexual violence data in Australia . Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 09 November 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-data
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Family, domestic and sexual violence data in Australia [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2023 Feb. 9]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-data
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Family, domestic and sexual violence data in Australia , viewed 9 February 2023, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-data
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Sexual assault may be reported to police. Examining whether police are contacted following sexual assault can provide an indication of reporting levels and utilisation of police services. Data on whether police were contacted (by the victim or another person) after sexual assault, as well as reasons for not contacting, are available from the ABS Personal Safety Survey (PSS). The PSS collects information on the experiences of violence for women and men in Australia.
The visualisation below shows whether a female respondent’s most recent incident of sexual assault by a male in the last 10 years was reported to police. In 2016, the police were not contacted in around 7 in 8 (or 87%) of these incidents. Data for male victims are not available due to data quality issues.
Source data: Sexual assault reported to police tables (58KB XLSX)
Examining reporting to police over time can provide insight into whether the reporting of sexual assaults is changing.
The visualisation below shows whether female respondent’s most recent incident of sexual assault by a male in the last 12 months was reported to police, over time. Between 2005 and 2016, the proportion of incidents the police were contacted about remained relatively stable.
Examining reasons why people choose not to contact police after a sexual assault can provide insight into how victims can be better supported and encouraged to seek help.
The visualisation below shows the reasons why women did not contact police following their most recent incident of sexual assault by a male in the last 10 years. The two most common reasons police were not contacted were because victims ‘Felt like they could deal with it themselves’ and/or they ‘Did not regard the incident as a serious offence’. Data for male victims are not available due to data quality issues.
The observed value of a rate may vary due to chance even where there is no variation in the underlying value of the rate. The margin of error is the largest possible difference (due to sampling error) that could exist between the estimate and what would have been produced had all persons been included in the survey. Confidence intervals—constructed by taking the estimate plus or minus the MoE— can be used to provide an approximate indication of the true differences between rates. If the confidence intervals do not overlap, the difference can be said to be statistically significant. However, statistically significant differences are not necessarily the same as differences considered to be of practical importance. Small differences that have practical importance may be found to be not statistically significant as they are below the threshold the significance test can reliably detect.
For more information see Methods, Glossary and Data sources.
ABS 2016 Personal Safety Survey
Next expected: 2022
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