4431.0.55.003 - Experiences of Violence and Personal Safety of People with Disability, 2016  
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  • Glossary

GLOSSARY


Adult

A person aged 18 years or over.

Disability

A disability or restrictive long-term health condition exists if a limitation, restriction, impairment, disease or disorder has lasted, or is expected to last for six months or more, which restricts everyday activities.

A disability or restrictive long-term health condition is classified by whether or not a person has a specific limitation or restriction. The specific limitation or restriction is further classified by whether the limitation or restriction is a limitation in core activities, or a schooling/employment restriction only.

There are four levels of core activity limitation (profound, severe, moderate, mild). These are based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment with any core activities (self-care, mobility or communication). A person's overall level of core activity limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in any of these activities.

A profound core activity limitation means that a person always needs help with at least one of the core activities of mobility, self-care and communication. A severe core activity limitation means that a person needs help with at least one of the core activities some of the time, has difficulty understanding or being understood by family or friends, or can communicate more easily using sign language or other non-spoken forms of communication.

Where a respondent required the assistance of another person to communicate with the interviewer, proxy interviews using a household member of the respondent’s choosing were conducted for the compulsory component of the survey. However, questions about sensitive topics from the voluntary component of the survey, including experiences of violence, were not asked in proxy interviews. Therefore it is likely that the PSS will under represent those with a profound or severe communication disability.

For further information refer to the Disability page in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).

Disability Groups

Disabilities can be broadly grouped depending on whether they relate to functioning of the mind or the senses, or to anatomy or physiology. Each disability group may refer to a single disability or be composed of a number of broadly similar disabilities. There are six separate groups based on the particular type of disability identified. These are:

Sensory

        • loss of sight (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses)
        • loss of hearing where communication is restricted, or an aid to assist with, or substitute for, hearing is used
        • speech difficulties.

Intellectual
        • difficulty learning or understanding things

Physical
        • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties that restrict everyday activities
        • blackouts, seizures or loss of consciousness
        • chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort that restricts everyday activities
        • incomplete use of arms or fingers
        • difficulty gripping or holding things
        • incomplete use of feet or legs
        • restriction in physical activities or in doing physical work
        • disfigurement or deformity


Psychological
        • nervous or emotional condition that restricts everyday activities
        • mental illness or condition requiring help or supervision


Head injury, stroke or acquired brain injury
        • head injury, stroke or other acquired brain injury, with long-term effects that restrict everyday activities


Other
        • receiving treatment or medication for any other long-term conditions or ailments and still restricted in everyday activities
        • any other long-term conditions resulting in a restriction in everyday activities

Incident

An ‘incident’ is referred to as an event of assault or threat, an occurrence or event of violence, abuse or assault that an individual has encountered in their life.

People were asked about the most recent incident for the eight types of violence (sexual assault, sexual threat, physical assault, physical threat by a male and by a female). Where a person experienced continuous acts of violence by the same perpetrator (e.g. in a domestic violence situation), they may have considered the continuous acts of violence to be a single incident. In these cases, the respondent was instructed to think about the most recent act of violence by that perpetrator when answering the more detailed questions.

It is possible that people have experienced multiple incidents of violence. Where a person has experienced more than one type of violence, they are counted separately in each type of violence they experience but are only counted once in the totals. Components therefore may not add to the totals.

It is also possible that a single incident of violence may involve more than one of these different types of violence. In order to produce valid violence prevalence rates, in the survey a single incident of violence is only counted once. Where an incident involves both a sexual and physical assault, it is counted as a sexual assault, e.g. if in an incident a person is physically assaulted during/as part of a sexual assault: this would be counted once only as a sexual assault. Where an incident involves a person being both threatened with assault and then assaulted, it is counted as an assault, e.g. if in a single incident a perpetrator threatens to sexually assault a person and then sexually assaults them this would be counted only once in the survey as a sexual assault. The same applies for incidents where a person is both physically threatened with assault and then physically assaulted.

Long-term health condition

A disease or disorder that has lasted, or is likely to last, for six months or more and is current at the time of the survey. The exception to this is a periodic or episodic condition (e.g. asthma, epilepsy or schizophrenia, where people suffer attacks or relapses at irregular intervals) where the attack or relapse has occurred in the last 12 months. Conditions that had not occurred in the last 12 months because they had been controlled by medication were also included. Long-term health conditions were coded to a classification based on the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10).

Margin of Error

Margin of Error (MoE), describes the distance from the population value that the sample estimate is likely to be within, and is specified at a given level of confidence. MoEs presented in this publication are at the 95% confidence level. This means that there are 19 chances in 20 that the estimate will differ by less than the specified MoE from the population value (the figure obtained if all dwellings had been enumerated).

For further information, refer to the Technical Note page of the Personal Safety, Australia, 2016 publication.

Physical assault

Any incident that involved the use of physical force with the intent to harm or frighten a person. Assaults may have occurred in conjunction with a robbery and includes incidents that occurred on the job, where a person was assaulted in their line of work (e.g. assaulted while working as a security guard), at school or overseas. Examples of physical force include:

    • Pushed, grabbed or shoved - Includes being pushed off a balcony, down stairs or across the room.
    • Slapped - Includes a hit with an open hand.
    • Kicked, bitten or hit with a fist.
    • Hit you with something else that could hurt you - Includes being hit with a bat, hammer, belt, pot, ruler, etc.
    • Beaten - Includes punching, hitting or slapping in a repetitive manner.
    • Choked - Includes being choked by hands, a rope, a scarf, a tie or any other item.
    • Stabbed - With a knife.
    • Shot - With a gun.
    • Any other type of physical assault - Includes burns, scalds, being dragged by the hair or being deliberately hit by a vehicle.

Physical assault excludes incidents that occurred during the course of play on a sporting field and excludes incidents of violence that occurred before the age of 15 (which are defined as physical abuse).

If a person experienced physical assault and physical threat in the same incident, this was counted once only as a physical assault. If a person experienced sexual assault and physical assault in the same incident, this was counted once only as a sexual assault.

Physical threat

Any verbal and/or physical intent or suggestion of intent to inflict physical harm, which was made face-to-face and which the person believed was able to be and likely to be carried out. Examples of physical threats include:

    • Threaten or attempt to hit with a fist or anything else that could hurt - Includes threats or attempts to slap, punch, spank or hit in any way with a fist or weapon such as a bat, hammer or pot.
    • Threaten or attempt to stab with a knife.
    • Threaten or attempt to shoot with a gun - The gun may or may not have been aimed at the person. It includes situations where a gun was left in an obvious place or if the person knew that the perpetrator had access to a gun. It includes toy guns, starter pistols etc., if the person believed they were real.
    • Threaten or attempt to physically hurt in any other way.

Physical threat excludes any incident in which the threat was actually carried out and incidents which occurred during the course of play on a sporting field.

If a person experienced sexual threat and physical threat in the same incident, this was counted once only as a sexual threat.

Physical violence

The occurrence, attempt or threat of physical assault experienced by a person since the age of 15.

For further information, refer to the Violence Prevalence and Violence - Most Recent Incident pages in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).

Population

Females and males aged 18 years and over.

Prevalence of violence

Prevalence of violence refers to the number and proportion (rate) of persons in a given population that have experienced any type of violence within a specified time frame – usually in the last 12 months (12 months prior to the survey) and since the age of 15.

For further information, refer to the Violence Prevalence page in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).


Proxy

A proxy is a person who answers the survey questions when the person selected for the interview is incapable of answering for themselves. Reasons the selected person may not be able to answer for themselves include illness/injury or language difficulties.

For this survey, a proxy was used to complete the general information component on behalf of the selected person. No proxy interviews were conducted on the voluntary components of the survey and therefore data for these selected persons were not used in output. For more details, refer to the Proxy section of the Survey Development and Data Collection page in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).

Relative Standard Error

The Relative Standard Error (RSE) is the standard error expressed as a proportion of an estimated value.

For further information, refer to the Technical Note page of the Personal Safety Survey, Australia 2016 publication.

Respondent

A person who answers a request for information about oneself.

Section of State

This geographical classification aggregates Urban Centre/Localities (UCLs) on the basis of population ranges i.e. all UCLs in a State/Territory within a particular population range are combined into a single SOS. The Section of State categories comprise Major Urban (represents a combination of all Urban Centres with a population of 100,000 or more), Other Urban (represents a combination of all Urban Centres with a population between 1,000 and 99,999), Bounded Locality (a combination of all Bounded Localities) and Rural Balance (the remainder of State/Territory). For more information, refer to Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 4 - Significant Urban Areas, Urban Centres and Localities, Section of State, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.004).

Sexual assault

An act of a sexual nature carried out against a person's will through the use of physical force, intimidation or coercion, including any attempts to do this. This includes rape, attempted rape, aggravated sexual assault (assault with a weapon), indecent assault, penetration by objects, forced sexual activity that did not end in penetration and attempts to force a person into sexual activity. Incidents so defined would be an offence under State and Territory criminal law.

Sexual assault excludes incidents of violence that occurred before the age of 15 - these are defined as sexual abuse. It also excludes unwanted sexual touching - this is defined as sexual harassment (see below).

If a person experienced sexual assault and sexual threat in the same incident, this was counted once only as a sexual assault. If an incident of sexual assault also involved physical assault or threats, this was counted once only as a sexual assault.

Sexual Harassment

Is considered to have occurred when a person has experienced or been subjected to behaviours which made them feel uncomfortable, and were offensive due to their sexual nature. PSS collects information about selected types of sexual harassment behaviours including:

    • Indecent text, email or post - Includes electronic messages (such as text messages, SMS, MMS, posts on Facebook or other internet social networking sites, emails, or other Internet messages), and written messages (such as letters delivered by mail or notes left where a person could find them). Does not include messages in which profanity was used, unless this was offensive due to its sexual content.
    • Indecent exposure - Is the act of exposing genitals for the purpose of distressing, shocking, humiliating and/or generating fear in a person.
    • Inappropriate comments - Includes inappropriate comments in a group situation as well as when the respondent is alone with the person who is harassing them, and sexual comments that are related to the respondent’s race, such as implying that people of a particular cultural group have certain sexual characteristics.
    • Unwanted touching - Is momentary or brief touching or contact and includes groping or brushing against a breast or bottom.
    • Distributing or posting pictures or videos of the person, that were sexual in nature, without their consent - Includes taking a photo or video which was sexual in nature, or showing/sending/posting the photos/videos which were sexual in nature.
    • Exposure to pictures, videos or materials which were sexual in nature that the person did not wish to see - Includes emailing the person or making them watch pornography, and displaying posters, magazines or screen savers of a sexual nature for the person to see.

For further information, refer to the Sexual Harassment page in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).


Sexual threat

The threat of acts of a sexual nature that were made face-to-face where the person believed it was able to and likely to be carried out.

If a person experienced sexual assault and sexual threat in the same incident, this was counted once only as a sexual assault.

Sexual violence

The occurrence, attempt or threat of sexual assault experienced by a person since the age of 15.

For further information, refer to the Violence Prevalence page in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).

Short Disability Module

The Short Disability Module is a standard set of questions used in a survey to quickly identify whether a person has a disability and determine the severity of their disability. As the main source of disability information in the ABS is the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), the disability data from surveys using the short disability module should not be used as a proxy for prevalence rates of disability in Australia. Instead, the disability data in these surveys indicates the relationship of disability to factors of interest and allows for analysis of differences between people with disability and those with no disability. For more information about comparability of the disability module, please see ABS Sources of Disability Information, 2012-2016 (cat. no. 4431.0.55.002).

Stalking

Stalking involves various behaviours, such as loitering and following, which the person believed were being undertaken with the intent to cause them fear or distress. To be classified as stalking more than one type of behaviour had to occur, or the same type of behaviour had to occur on more than one occasion. Behaviours include:

    • Loitered or hung around outside person's home.
    • Loitered or hung around outside person's workplace.
    • Loitered hung around outside person's place of leisure or social activities.
    • Followed or watched them in person.
    • Followed or watched them using electronic tracking device (e.g. GPS tracking system, computer spyware).
    • Maintained unwanted contact with them by phone, postal mail, email, text messages or social media websites.
    • Posted offensive or unwanted messages, images or personal information on the internet about them.
    • Impersonated them online to damage their reputation.
    • Hacked or accessed their email, social media or other online account without their consent to follow or track them.
    • Gave or left objects where they could be found that were offensive or disturbing.
    • Interfered with or damaged any of their property.

For further information, refer to the Stalking page in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).

Standard Error

The Standard Error (SE) indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied because only a sample of dwellings was included.

For further information, refer to the Technical Note page of the Personal Safety Survey, Australia 2016 publication.

Violence

In the PSS, violence is defined as any incident involving the occurrence, attempt or threat of either sexual or physical assault. Violence can be broken down into two main categories, sexual violence and physical violence.