4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/04/2016   
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SAFETY, LAW AND JUSTICE


Experiences of violence

Experiences of both physical and threatened physical violence have an impact on the levels of wellbeing experienced by individuals and communities. In 2014–15, more than one in five (22%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months. This has not changed significantly since 2008 (23%) (Table 1).

The proportion of people aged 15 years and over who experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months was similar according to both sex (23% for males compared with 22% for females) and remoteness (22% in non-remote areas compared with 23% in remote areas) (Table 15).

Recent experiences of physical or threatened physical violence may affect how a person feels about life as a whole. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who had experienced physical or threatened physical violence in the last 12 months were twice as likely to have provided a low (0–4 out of a possible 10) life satisfaction rating as those who had not (16% compared with 7%) (Table 17).

Physical violence

In 2014–15, around one in eight (13%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over experienced physical violence in the last 12 months, including 8% who had experienced physical violence on more than one occasion (Table 15).

Over two-thirds (68%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who had experienced physical violence in the last 12 months reported that alcohol or other substances contributed to the most recent incident (70% of males compared with 67% of females). This was significantly higher in remote areas (76%) than in non-remote areas (65%) (Table 8.1).

Table 8.1. Contribution of alcohol or other substances to most recent incident of physical violence(a), by sex and remoteness — 2014–15

Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Non-remote
(%)
Remote
(%)
Total
(%)

Alcohol or other substances contributed
69.6
66.6
65.1
75.5
68.3
Neither alcohol nor other substances contributed (b)
29.6
33.6
33.6
23.9
31.6

Total persons who experienced physical violence in last 12 months
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who experienced physical violence in the last 12 months.
(b) Includes people who did not know whether alcohol or other substances contributed to the most recent incident of physical violence.
Source(s): 2014–15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.

In 2014–15, the majority (90%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who had experienced physical violence in the last 12 months knew the perpetrator of the most recent incident (96% of females compared with 83% of males). Data on the most recent incident involving physical violence show that a family member (including a current or previous partner) was the perpetrator in half of these cases — (63% of females who had experienced physical violence compared with 35% of males) (Table 8.2).

Table 8.2. Relationship to perpetrator of the most recent incident of physical violence(a)(b), by sex — 2014–15

Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Persons
(%)

Partner (c)
*5.7
28.2
17.6
Other family member
29.6
37.3
33.5
Total family member (d)
34.6
63.3
50.2
Other known person (e)
50.9
38.1
44.5
Total known offender
83.4
95.7
89.5
Did not know offender
*17.2
*4.7
10.2

Total persons who experienced physical violence
100.0
100.0
100.0

* Proportion has a relative standard error between 25% and 50% and should be used with caution.

(a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who experienced physical violence in the last 12 months.
(b) Perpetrator data are for the most recent experience of physical violence. More than one perpetrator may have been identified.
(c) Includes current and previous partner (defacto/husband/wife).
(d) Includes current partner, previous partner, parent/sibling/child, and other family member.
(e) Includes persons known only by sight.
Source(s): 2014–15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females aged 15 years and over were more likely than males to have experienced partner violence in the last 12 months. Females who had experienced physical violence were more than four times as likely as males to have said that their current or previous partner (defacto/husband/wife) was the perpetrator of the most recent incident (28% compared with 6%).

Neighbourhood or community problems

The 2014–15 NATSISS collected information on 14 types of neighbourhood or community problems. In 2014–15, more than two-thirds (69%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were aware of at least one neighbourhood or community problem in their local area (82% in remote areas compared with 65% in non-remote areas) (Table 15).

Overall, the neighbourhood or community problems most commonly reported were: theft — including motor vehicles and home burglaries (44%); dangerous or noisy driving (41%); alcohol (38%); illegal drugs (37%); and problems involving youth (31%). The prevalence of each of the 14 neighbourhood or community problems was higher in remote areas than in non-remote areas. For example, theft was reported as a neighbourhood or community problem by 51% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in remote areas, compared with 42% in non-remote areas; alcohol by 64% compared with 30%; illegal drugs by 56% compared with 32%; and problems involving youth, by 50% compared with 26% (Table 15).

Contact with police

In 2014–15, around one in seven (15%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over said they had been arrested in the last five years (20% of males compared with 9% of females). Across all age groups, males were significantly more likely than females to have been arrested in the last five years (Figure 8.1 and Table 15).

Figure 8.1. Arrested in last five years(a), by age and sex — 2014–15
Graph Image for Figure 8.1 ARRESTED IN LAST FIVE YEARS(a), by age and sex

Footnote(s): (a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Source(s): 2014–15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey



Almost one in 10 (9%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had been incarcerated in their lifetime (14% in remote areas compared with 7% in non-remote areas). Males were almost four times as likely as females to have been incarcerated (15% compared to 4%) (Table 15).