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4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Jul 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/08/2011  First Issue
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VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE, HARASSMENT AND STALKING



KEY SERIES


EXPERIENCE OF VIOLENCE DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS (a)(b), 18 years and over

2005

'000
%

Males
808.3
10.8
Females
443.8
5.8


(a) Violence includes physical and sexual violence. Physical violence includes physical assault and physical threat or attempts, and sexual violence includes sexual assault and sexual threats.
(b) Male and female who experienced of violence as a proportion of the total population for each sex.

Source: ABS Personal Safety Survey, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0).



RELATED SERIES



EXPERIENCE OF VIOLENCE FROM A PARTNER DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS (a)(b)(c), 18 years and over
2005

'000
%

Males
*27.9
*0.4
Females
114.4
1.5

* estimate has a relative standard error of between 25% and 50% and should be used with caution.
(a) Violence includes physical and sexual violence. Physical violence includes physical assault and physical threat or attempts, and sexual violence includes sexual assault and sexual threats.
(b) Includes both current and previous partner.
(c) Males and females victims of violence from a partner as a proportion of total persons for each sex.

Source: ABS data available on request, Personal Safety Survey, 2005.

EXPERIENCE OF HARASSMENT DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS (a)(b)(c), 18 years and over
2005

'000
%

Males
864.3
11.6
Females
1,459.5
19.0

(a) Harassment includes incidents such as obscene phone calls, indecent exposure, inappropriate comments about body or sex life and unwanted sexual touching.
(b) Persons who experienced more than one type of harassment are counted once in the total.
(c) Male and female who experienced harassment as a proportion of the total population for each sex.


Source: ABS Personal Safety Survey, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0).


EXPERIENCE OF STALKING DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS (a)(b), 18 years and over
2005

'000
%

Males
110.7
1.5
Females
195.4
2.5

(a) Stalking includes various activities such as loitering and following, which the respondent believed were being undertaken with the intent to harm or frighten.
(b) Male and female victims of stalking, as a percentage of the total population for each sex.

Source: ABS Personal Safety Survey, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0).




COMMENTARY

EXPERIENCE OF VIOLENCE, HARASSMENT AND STALKING


Experience of violence

In 2005, 11% (808,000) of men aged 18 years and over reported at least one experience of violence in the previous 12 months, compared with 6% (444,000) of women. People were four times more likely to have experienced at least one incident of violence by a male perpetrator than by a female perpetrator.

Violence occurs as a result of a combination of individual, interpersonal and societal factors, and takes both a human and an economic toll on society. The incidence of violent crime raises much community concern due to the potential severity of the consequences arising from it, and fear that it may affect us, or people we know. People who experience violence, and those around them, can suffer in many ways. The consequences can range from physical injuries to psychological and physiological health problems. (Endnote 1)

Measuring violence in the community through household surveys is a complex task. It tests people's memories by asking about events that occurred in the past, which may have been traumatic and which may have involved people closely related to them. The accuracy of the statistics can be affected if respondents feel threatened by the act of providing information or if they are concerned that the information might be used against the perpetrator. (Endnote 2)By type

Violence includes both physical and sexual violence.

Physical violence refers to physical assault, and threatened or attempted physical assault. In 2005, physical violence was experienced in the previous 12 months by 10% (780,000) of males aged 18 years and over and 5% (363,000) of females aged 18 years and over.

Sexual violence refers to sexual assault, and threatened or attempted sexual assault. In the 12 months prior to the 2005 survey, 47,000 males (0.6%) and 126,000 females (1.6%) had experienced sexual violence.


By age

In 2005, a greater proportion of younger men and women had experienced violence in the last 12 months than had older men and women respectively. Men aged 18-24 years were more likely to have experienced violence than older age groups of men; 31% of young men reported at least one experience of violence compared to 9% of men aged 35-44 years and 3% of men aged 55 years and over. 12% of women aged 18-24 years reported at least one experience of violence in the last 12 months compared with 7% of those aged 35-44 years and 2% of those aged 55 years and over.


Experience of violence from a partner

Females were more likely than males to experience violence from a current or a previous partner. In 2005, there were 114,000 females (2%) compared to 28,000 males (0.4%) who had experienced partner violence in the 12 months prior to interview.

Of those who reported experiencing violence, 26% of females reported partner violence compared to 3% of males. Both males and females were more likely to report experiencing violence by a previous partner (2% of males and 16% of females) than by their current partner (1% and 10% respectively). A current partner is the partner at the time of the survey. Previous partner includes both the person who was the partner at the time of the incidence of violence and who is now separated (at the time of the survey), as well as someone who was no longer living with the person at the time of the incidence of violence.

Sex of perpetrator

Both males and females were more likely to experience at least one incident of violence in the 12 months prior to the survey by a male perpetrator than by a female perpetrator. In the 12 months prior to the survey, 10% of males (723,000) and 5% of females (376,000) experienced at least one incident of violence by a male perpetrator. In contrast, 2% of both males and females (136,000 males and 130,000 females) reported experiencing at least one incident of violence from a female perpetrator.

Of those who reported experiencing violence, 89% of males reported experiencing at least one incident by a male perpetrator compared to 85% of females. 17% of males and 29% of females reported experiencing at least one incident of violence from a female perpetrator, while some people experienced violence by both male and female perpetrators.Experience of harassment

Females were more likely to experience harassment than males. In 2005, 19% of females (1,459,000) experienced some form of harassment in the previous 12 months compared to 12% of males (864,000 males).

Harassment includes incidents such as obscene phone calls, indecent exposure, inappropriate comments about body or sex life and unwanted sexual touching.

A higher proportion of females (15%) reported experiencing inappropriate comments compared to 6% of males. Of those who reported experiencing any harassment in the previous 12 months, 79% of females and 48% of males experienced inappropriate comments as a form of harassment.

The proportion of females experiencing obscene phone calls was higher (12%) compared to males experiencing such incidents (7%). Of those who reported experiencing harassment, equal proportions (62%) of males and females reported experiencing obscene phone calls.

The proportion of females experiencing unwanted sexual touching (10%) was more than double that for males (4%). Of those who reported experiencing harassment, 50% of females reported experiencing this form of harassment compared to 31% of males.

The proportion of females experiencing indecent exposure (8%) was double that of males (4%). Of those who reported experiencing harassment, 42% of females reported experiencing this form of harassment compared to 34% of males.

A higher proportion of females reported experiencing at least one incident of harassment by a male perpetrator (19%) than by a female perpetrator (6%), while there was no difference in the proportions of males experiencing at least one incident of harassment by a male or female perpetrator (each 8%).

Experience of stalking

Stalking involves various activities, such as loitering and following, which the respondent believed were being undertaken with the intent to harm or frighten. To be classified as stalking, more than one type of activity had to occur, or the same type of activity had to occur on more than one occasion.

In 2005, a higher proportion of females (3% or 195,000) than males (2% or 111,000) reported experiencing stalking in the 12 months prior to interview. Of those experiencing stalking, women were about five times more likely to report experiencing at least one incident by a male perpetrator than by a female perpetrator.


ENDNOTES

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007, Australian Social Trends, 2007 (cat. no. 4102.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006, Personal Safety Survey, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.



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