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4906.0 - Personal Safety, Australia, 2005 (Reissue)  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/08/2006  Reissue
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MEDIA RELEASE

August 10, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
74/2006
First national personal safety survey released today: ABS

Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the results of the first national Personal Safety Survey presenting information about women's and men's experiences of violence.

For the 2005 Personal Safety Survey violence was defined as any incident involving the occurrence, attempt or threat of either physical or sexual assault.

The 2005 Personal Safety Survey found that most Australian adults (95% of men and 83% of women) felt safe at home after dark. About one in 20 women (5.8%) and one in 10 men (11%) reported experiencing violence in the 12 months prior to the survey. Since the age of 15, 40% of women and 50% of men reported experiencing at least one incident of violence.

Physical violence: Approximately one in 10 men (10%) and one in 20 women (4.7%) experienced physical violence (includes being threatened or assaulted) in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Men aged between 18-24 years were most likely to be physically assaulted (43%).

The most common location for physical assaults to occur for women was in the home irrespective of the sex of the perpetrator (64% of physical assaults were by male perpetrators and 38% of physical assaults were by female perpetrators).

Men who were physically assaulted by a male perpetrator were more likely to have been assaulted at licensed premises (34%) or in the open (35%), however if the perpetrator was female then 77% of the physical assaults occurred in the home.

Family members or friends were the most likely perpetrators of physical assault on women (37%) and strangers were more likely to physically assault men (66%).

In the 12 months prior to the 2005 survey 35% of men and 36% of women who experienced physical assault by a male perpetrator reported these incidents to the police.

Sexual violence: In the 12 months prior to the survey it was found that 1.6% of women (or 126,100 women) and 0.6% of men (46,700 men) experienced sexual violence (includes being threatened or assaulted).

Just under one-third (31%) of those who experienced sexual assault were aged between 25-34 years old. The most likely perpetrators of sexual assault were family members or friends (39% for women and 44% for men).

The survey also found that:
  • An estimated 27% of men and 56% women reported being harassed at some stage in their lifetime.
  • Approximately one in ten men (9%) and one in five women (19%) had been stalked at some stage in their lifetime.


Experience of violence(a) and feelings of safety - during the last 12 months
2005 Personal Safety Survey
1996 Women's Safety Survey(b)
Men
Women
Women
%
%
%
Experienced violence
808,300
10.8
443,800
5.8
490,400
7.1
Physical violence
779,800
10.4
363,000
4.7
404,400
5.9
Physical assault
485,400
6.5
242,000
3.1
346,900
5.0
Physical threat
392,800
5.3
162,400
2.1
284,000
4.1
Sexual violence
46,700
0.6
126,100
1.6
133,100
1.9
Sexual assault
42,300
0.6
101,600
1.3
100,000
1.5
Sexual threat
**5,700
0.1
34,900
0.5
44,800
0.7
Felt unsafe at home alone after dark
281,900
3.8
1,029,400
13.4
1,471,500
21.4
Felt unsafe using public transport alone after dark
404,600
5.4
544,800
7.1
384,800
5.6

(a) A person who experienced violence during the last 12 months could have experienced violence more than once. The components when added together may therefore be larger than the total.

(b) Results presented are from the 1996 Women's Safety Survey (ABS cat. no. 4128.0).

** estimate has a standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Funding for the women's component of the 2005 Personal Safety Survey was provided through the National Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault and Partnerships Against Domestic Violence - Australian Government initiatives administered by the Office for Women (OfW). The male component was funded by the ABS.

Further details are in Personal Safety Survey: Summary of Results, Australia 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0).


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