4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Sep 2017  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/09/2017   
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SAFETY AND JUSTICE

The Safety and Justice section contains the following sub-topics:

Experiences of crime (violence, sexual harassment, stalking, robbery)
Victimisation rates (persons who experienced physical or threatened physical assault, robbery, reporting rates)
Imprisonment (including rates by offence, sentence length)
Offenders (by age and principal offence)

Detailed data for these sub-topics is available from the Downloads tab, above (see Table 12).


INSIGHTS

Experiences of crime

Experience of physical or threatened assault or violence

In 2015-16, 5% of men and 4.5% of women aged 15 years and over had experienced assault or threatened assault in the previous 12 months (467,000 men and 432,700 women). While rates for men have dropped slightly since 2008-09, those for women have remained relatively stable over this time (see Figure 1 below, and Table 12.5 for more detail).

Graph Image for Figure 1 - All persons 15 years and older, experienced assault or threatened assault, by sex, 2008-09 to 2015-16 (a)

Footnote(s): a) Persons who experienced assault as a proportion of total persons for each sex. Includes both face-to-face and non face-to-face physical assault and threatened physical assault.

Source(s): Customised data, ABS Crime Victimisation Survey, 2008-09 to 2015-16



Just over one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men (22%) and women (21%) aged 18 years and over had experienced physical or threatened violence in 2014-15, a level that was relatively unchanged from 2008. ('Violence' includes physical assault and physical threats or attempts.) See Table 12.2 for more detail.

Sexual assault

In 2016, females were four and a half times as likely as males to have a recorded incidence of sexual assault: 155 females per 100,000 females, compared with 34 males per 100,000 males (see Table 12.8 for more detail). These rates have remained relatively stable since 2010 (see Table 12.8 for more detail).

Robbery

In 2016, males were around three times as likely to have been robbed as females (that is, where someone stole or attempted to steal their property by physically attacking them or threatening them with violence). Recorded robbery rates declined between 2010 and 2015 but have marginally increased over the last year to 48 men and 17 women per 100,000 men and women respectively. Males were also twice as likely as females to be blackmailed. (see Table 12.8).

Murder

Rates of murder for both males and females have stayed steady over the past 6 years, at around 1.2 deaths per 100,000 males and 0.7 deaths per 100,000 females. More males than females are murdered overall, and males are more likely to have experienced a murder attempt (See Table 12.8).

Reporting rates (whether told police about experience of selected personal crimes)

In 2015-16, reporting rates for physical assault were 54% and 56% respectively for males and females: that is, just over half the people who had experienced an incident of physical assault had reported their most recent incident to police. These rates were even lower for face-to-face threatened assault, at 36% for males and 46% for females. In the year between 2014-15 and 2015-16, reporting rates for robbery for females went up from 40% to 71% (see Table 12.7).

Imprisonment

At 30 June 2016, there were 3,094 women and 35,745 men in Australian adult corrective services facilities. Imprisonment rates peaked for males aged 25-29 (see Figure 1, below, and Table 12.9).

Graph Image for Figure 2 - All persons 18 years and over, imprisonment rates, by age and sex, 2016 (a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) In all States and Territories except Queensland, persons remanded or sentenced to adult custody are aged 18 years and over. In Queensland, 'adult' refers to persons aged 17 years and over. (b) Rates are per 100,000 adult population.

Source(s): Customised data, ABS National Prisoner Census, 2016



Between 30 June 2015 and 30 June 2016, the imprisonment rate increased or remained the same for all people except 18 and 19 year old males, and females aged 55-64 years (see Table 12.9). The median sentence length for women increased from 20 to 22 months, but the median sentence length for men remained unchanged at 36 months (see Table 12.12).

At 30 June 2016, there were 1,911 female and 24,723 male sentenced prisoners in Australia. Sentenced prisoners made up 68.6% of prisoners, with 31.2% being unsentenced.

Around 9.4% of female sentenced prisoners had homicide and related offences as their most serious offence (that is, the offence for which they had received the longest sentence in their current episode), compared with 8.9% of male sentenced prisoners.

The most common ‘most serious offences’ for sentenced women were illicit drug offences (19% of females compared with 12% of males), and acts intended to cause injury (16% compared with 18%). After acts intended to cause injury, sentenced men were most likely to have sexual assault and related offences as their most serious offence (14% compared with 2% of female sentenced prisoners). Women were more likely than men to have been sentenced for fraud, deception and related offences (9% compared with 2% of male sentenced prisoners). See Table 12.11 for more detail.

Data from the National Prisoner Census shows that imprisonment rates differ widely between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and other people (see Figure 3, below).

Graph Image for Figure 3 - All persons 18 years and over, imprisonment rates by Indigenous status and sex, 2005 to 2015 (a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Rates are per 100,000 adult population. (b) In all States and Territories except Queensland, persons remanded or sentenced to adult custody are aged 18 years and over. In Queensland, 'adult' refers to persons aged 17 years and over.

Source(s): Source: National Prisoner Census, 2005-2015




Offenders

Offenders are people aged 10 years and over who police have taken legal action against for one or more criminal offences. In 2015-16 there were 3,139 male and 923 female offenders per 100,000 males and females in Australia. Rates of offenders have remained relatively stable since 2008-09, with male offender rates consistently more than triple that of female offender rates.

Acts intended to cause injury, public order offences, illicit drug offences and theft and related offences were the most common principal offences (that is, the most serious offence for which a person has been proceeded against by police during the reference period) for both males and females.

The highest offender rate for females was for theft and related offences (238.7 per 100,000 females compared with 480.6 per 100,000 males). The highest offender rate for males was for illicit drug offences (616.2 per 100,000 males compared with 184.4 per 100,000 females).

Graph Image for Figure 4 - Leading principal offences, females, 2008-09 to 2015-16 (a)

Footnote(s): a) Rate per 100,000 females aged 10 years and over

Source(s): ABS Recorded Crime - Offenders, Australia, 2015-16 (cat. no. 4519.0)



Graph Image for Figure 5 - Leading principal offences, males, 2008-09 to 2014-15 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Rate per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over

Source(s): ABS Recorded Crime - Offenders, Australia, 2015-16 (cat. no. 4519.0)



Between 2012-13 and 2015-16, the male offender rate for sexual assault and related offences increased from 59 to 71 males per 100,000 males aged 10 years and over. The female rate increased from 3 to 6 females per 100,000 in this time (see Table 12.14 for more detail).