Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Trends in recorded sexual assault

Crime facts info no. 105

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, August 2005

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Recorded crime - victims annual publication, the rate of reported sexual assault has increased in the period 1993-2003. In 1993 the rate was 69 recorded victims of sexual assault per 100,000 population; by 2003 the rate had steadily climbed to 92 reported victims per 100,000 persons. This increase does not necessarily reflect an increase in the prevalence of sexual assault, but is likely to be influenced by an increase in reporting incidents to police. Victimisation surveys such as the ABS National Crime and Safety Survey and the Australian component of the International Violence Against Women Survey suggest that between 12 and 20 per cent of sexual assaults against women are reported to police - a reporting rate lower than for other major crime categories. In 2003, the last year for which ABS data are available, 82 per cent of recorded sexual assault victims were female.

Recorded victims of sexual assault, rate per 100,000 population, 1993-2003

chart

SOURCE: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Recorded crime - victims, Australia. Cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS.

References

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2003. Crime and safety 2002, Australia. Cat. no. 4509.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • Mouzos J and Makkai T 2004. Women's experiences of male violence: findings from the Australian component of the International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS). Research and public policy series no. 56. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. Web version available at: http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/rpp/56/index.html